World premiere for a new children’s classic story adapted for the stage

David Walliams with The First Hippo On The Moon SUS-160426-135925001
David Walliams with The First Hippo On The Moon SUS-160426-135925001

The First Hippo On The Moon will receive its world premiere in Eastbourne this Christmas.

It will play at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre from December 13 until January 7 before it begins its major UK tour visiting 30 different venues.

The production is a stage adaptation of David Walliams’ children’s book which will be brought to life by innovative producers Les Petits Theatre Company.

This is the children’s arm of Les Enfants Terribles who are most well-known for Alice’s Adventures Underground at The Vaults and the recent immersive dining experience Dinner At The Twits.

The creative team for the show is led by Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell - they are the talent behind the puppets for War Horse, Elephantom and The Lorax - with Les Enfants Terribles’ Artistic Director Oliver Lansley directing and adapting the book for the stage.

The First Hippo on the Moon is the story of intrepid hippo explorer Shelia who wants to be the first hippo to reach the moon, but her attempts are thwarted by her astronaut enemy Hercules. On stage, Shelia will be a large-scale puppet whose chaotic personality means that occasionally she will venture into the audience, she will be joined on stage by a menagerie of animal friends who help her on her adventure to the moon.

David Walliams has taken the literary world by storm and his brilliantly funny stories are adored by children the world over. He has achieved unprecedented critical acclaim and quickly developed a reputation as a natural successor to Roald Dahl. His books have been translated into over 45 languages and sold over 9.5 million copies in the UK alone. One of his most successful titles Gangsta Granny was adapted for the stage in November 2015 by Birmingham Stage Company.

David Walliams said: “I am delighted that The First Hippo on the Moon will be making its world premiere this December at the historic Eastbourne Hippodrome before travelling up and down the UK. I’ve been a long-time admirer of Les Petits Theatre Company and the innovative approach they take to theatre-making so I’m excited to see how they bring my hippo space explorers to life on stage.”

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