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The Butterfly Lion

by Michael Morpurgo

Adapted and Directed by Daniel Buckroyd

Associate / Movement Director Matthew Cullum

Designer Juliet Shillingford

Lighting Designer Mark Dymock

Sound Designer Adam McCready

Composer Carlton Edwards

Puppetry Director Sue Pyecroft

Cast includes: Tracy Bargate, Adam Buchanan, Sam Clark, Christopher Hogben, Gina Isaac, Lloyd Notice, Michael Palmer,Sydney K Smith, Gwen Taylor

Ahead of its nationwide tour

A Mercury Theatre Made in Colchester Production Presented by arrangement with Bill Kenwright Ltd

“This is a gripping and ultimately touching couple of hours, made all the more compelling by Daniel Buckroyd’s staging. ****”
The Guardian

“It may have started life as a children’s book but this production has something for everyone and I defy grown-ups not to be moved by it.”
East Anglian Daily Times

“The Butterfly Lion will touch all hearts, both young and old”
Virginia McKenna, Born Free Foundation

Following the incredible stage and screen success of War Horse, the novels of Michael Morpurgo have suddenly found a new wider audience, drawn to the heartbreakingly honest stories he tells of growing up and growing old, of the horrors of war, and of the deep bonds that exist between humans and animals.

The Butterfly Lion is arguably Michael’s finest book, so we’re thrilled to be bringing this much-loved and multi award-winning tale to life in a brand new stage adaptation, featuring a mix of wonderfully inventive storytelling, haunting original music and captivating puppetry.

The Butterfly Lion tells the extraordinary story of young Albert Andrews and the unlikely friendship that he strikes up with the orphaned white lion cub he rescues one day from the African Veldt. It’s an epic tale that spans more than seventy years and takes us from rural Wiltshire to the plains of South Africa, and from the bleeding heart of war-torn France finally back to England and the safety of home. It’s a journey that begins with a solemn promise made by a boy never to forget his friend, a journey that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its startling conclusion.

Running time approx 2hrs including interval
Recommended for adults and families with children aged 7+ years.
Originally produced by New Perspectives, Curve Theatre, Leicester & Derby Theatre

Past Performances

Fri 30 Aug 2:30pm
Fri 30 Aug 7:30pm
Sat 31 Aug 2:30pm
Sat 31 Aug 7:30pm
Tue 3 Sep 7:30pm
Wed 4 Sep 7:30pm
Thu 5 Sep 2:30pm
Thu 5 Sep 7:30pm
Fri 6 Sep 1:30pm
Fri 6 Sep 7:30pm
Sat 7 Sep 2:30pm
Sat 7 Sep 7:30pm
Mon 9 Sep 7:30pm
Tue 10 Sep 7:30pm
Wed 11 Sep 7:30pm Talk Back
Thu 12 Sep 1:30pm
Thu 12 Sep 7:30pm Caption Performance
Fri 13 Sep 7:30pm
Sat 14 Sep 2:30pm Audio Description
Sat 14 Sep 7:30pm

This is a gripping and ultimately touching couple of hours, made all the more compelling by Daniel Buckroyd’s staging. ****

The Guardian

At the outset of a national tour, it held an audience of young children spellbound. ****

Financial Times

A captivating performance that sings to you from the start

East Anglian Daily Times

It may have started life as a children’s book but this production has something for everyone and I defy grown-ups not to be moved by it.

East Anglian Daily Times

A wonderfully effective adaptation

The Daily Telegraph

This amazing company can really make us believe they’re off to Africa bringing the watering hole to life ****

The Public Reviews

Cast

Lloyd Notice

Lloyd Notice

Lion/Mr Cook

Gwen Taylor

Gwen Taylor

Millie

Adam Buchanan

Adam Buchanan

Michael/Bertie

Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer

Latin Master, Bertie’s Father, Colonel, Ensemble

Gina Isaac

Gina Isaac

Matron, Bertie’s Mother, Ensemble

Christopher Hogben

Christopher Hogben

Basher Beaumont, Captain, Cafe Owner, Ensemble

Sydney K Smith

Sydney K Smith

Farm Hand, Merlot, Soldier, Ensemble

Sam Clark

Sam Clark

Farm Hand, Merlot’s assistant, Ambulance Driver, Ensemble

Tracy Bargate

Tracy Bargate

Nanny, Nurse, Ensemble including Matron and Bertie's mother

Creatives

Matthew Cullum

Matthew Cullum

Associate/Movement Director

Mark Dymock

Mark Dymock

Lighting Designer

Adam P McCready

Adam P McCready

Sound Designer

Sue Pyecroft

Sue Pyecroft

Puppetry Director

Critical acclaim for The Butterfly Lion

The Mercury Theatre's latest in-house production attracts national attention… Read more

Mercury Theatre

  • Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate, Colchester, CO1 1PT