The Baddies: Stage show based on new Julia Donaldson story to premiere in Edinburgh
A Scottish theatre is to stage the world premiere of a stage adaptation of a brand new book from The Gruffalo creator Julia Donaldson.
The Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh will launch The Baddies, the children’s author’s tale of a witch, a troll and an ancient ghost, next October.
The coup is expected to be a huge box office hit due to the popularity of the work of the former Children’s Laureate, who spent 25 years living in Scotland.
A recent survey found that The Gruffalo, which has sold 13.5 million copies since it was first published in 1999, more likely to be a child’s first book in the UK than any other title.
Other books created by Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, her long-time collaborator, have included Zog, The Smeds and The Smoos, and Stick Man.
Donaldson has been making regular appearances at festivals and events in Edinburgh since the launch of The Gruffalo, including a hit Fringe show in recent years.
The Lyceum is joining forces with Freckle Productions, which has previously adapted some of Donaldson’s books, after playing host to its production of Stick Man.
The Brighton-based theatre company will be reuniting with composer and lyricist Joe Stillgoe, another Fringe regular to create the music and songs for The Baddies, which is expected to go on tour around the UK after its run at the Lyceum from 4-20 October.
The Baddies, which is billed as “a riot of slapstick fun and silliness,” sees the ghost, witch and troll attempt to scare a young girl who moves into a nearby cottage.
Donaldson said The Baddies is the first book to feature more than one villain – with the story featuring “three nasty pieces of work, each vying to be the worst.”
She said: “I am delighted that The Baddies will be brought wickedly to life on stage next
year in Edinburgh by Freckle Productions, who’ve done such fun and inventive things with Zog and
Stick Man and my other characters over the years. I’m particularly happy that Joe Stilgoe, with his gift for catchy tunes and clever lyrics, has written the songs for the show, and I feel confident that the result will be a great night at the theatre for kids of all ages.”
David Greig, artistic director at the Lyceum, said: “The Lyceum is delighted to be working with Freckle Productions again, after the resounding success of Stick Man. We look forward to welcoming a whole new generation of theatregoers to the Lyceum with this Julia Donaldson classic.”
Jennifer Sutherland, executive producer at Freckle Production, said: “Freckle are thrilled and excited to be working with David Greig and the Lyceum team to create The Baddies and premier the show in such a beautiful theatre in the heart of Edinburgh.”
The Lyceum has already announced new adaptations of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song for its 2024 line-up.
A brand new version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, adapted by writer Morna Young and director Cora Bissett, will be launched at the Lyceum next month.
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