John Boyne’s highly acclaimed and best-selling international novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas will receive its world stage premiere next year at Chichester Festival Theatre on 19 February, from where it will tour England until 27 June. The book, which is a KS3 level school text for 11 – 14 year olds, has been adapted for stage by Angus Jackson. The tour will visit the Theatre Royal Nottingham from 17-21 March.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is an emotive tale of an unlikely friendship between two innocent boys. Set during World War II, the story is seen through the eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and devastating consequences.
John Boyne’s 2006 novel has sold millions of copies around and has appeared on many bestseller lists including the New York Times where it reached number 1. It was made into a Miramax feature film which was released in 2008.
This play will be produced by The Children’s Touring Partnership, which is led by independent producer Fiery Angel, Chichester Festival Theatre and a consortium of major regional theatres. The Partnership have previously toured Goodnight Mister Tom (which won the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family) and Swallows and Amazons. There will be an extensive education programme attached to this production and there are additional matinee performances in all venues to accommodate school parties.
Edward Snape for the Children’s Touring Partnership commented, ‘The Children’s Touring Partnership aims to produce and tour innovative, ambitious and engaging large scale theatrical productions for children and families. After two years of development we are very excited by this new commission which will bring this extraordinary story to life on stage for the first time’.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director, Jonathan Church said: ‘Creating and supporting high quality work for young people is an important thread running through Chichester’s work, which is why we are proud to be part of the Children’s Touring Partnership. We’re delighted that The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas will receive its world premiere in our renewed Festival Theatre following its major refurbishment.’
Born in Dublin, John Boyne has published nine novels for adults, including his most recent, A History of Loneliness (2014). As well as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John has written three other novels for younger readers: Noah Barleywater Runs Away (2010), The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket (2012) and Stay Where You Are And Then Leave (2013).
Angus Jackson is Associate Director of Chichester Festival Theatre. His Chichester credits include Neville’s Island (now playing in the West End) and King Lear(also New York), The Browning Version (also West End), Goodnight Mr Tom (also national tour), and Bingo (also Young Vic). For the National Theatre he directed Rocket to the Moon, The Power of Yes, Fix Up and Elmina’s Kitchen (also tour and West End). His film of Elmina’s Kitchen won him a BAFTA Best New Director nomination.
The director is Joe Murphy, the Artistic Director of nabokov, a new writing company which is dedicated to making work in response to immediately relevant social and political themes. Joe’s 2010 production Bunny won the Scotsman Fringe First Award following its premiere in Edinburgh and went on to tour the UK. His other theatre credits also include the critically acclaimed Incognito by Nick Payne and 2nd May Response Plays (both at The Bush Theatre), The Boy on the Swing and the nabokov/Soho Theatre co-production Blink. In 2013/14 he was assistant director on Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the RSC at Stratford and the Aldwych Theatre in the West End. He was also Resident Director for the West End run of Ghost Stories.
Designer Robert Innes Hopkins renews his collaboration with Angus Jackson following their previous productions at Chichester Festival Theatre: King Lear(and New York), Neville’s Island (and West End), Goodnight Mister Tom (UK tour and West End), Bingo (also Young Vic) and Wallenstein. Other credits includeClybourne Park (Royal Court Theatre and West End), The Malcontent and The Comedy of Errors (both RSC).
Lighting design is by Malcolm Rippeth, an Associate Artist of Kneehigh where his credits include Tristan and Yseult, Don John, Brief Encounter and Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) in a co-production with Liverpool Everyman.
The composer is Stephen Warbeck whose credits include the film Shakespeare in Love for which he won an Academy Award. Other credits include Jerusalem(Royal Court, West End and Broad-way), The Power of Yes, An Inspector Calls (both for the National Theatre) and Parlour Song (Almeida Theatre).
Recommended age: 11+ years
John Boyne’s highly acclaimed and best-selling novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas receives its world stage premiere in a production by the Children’s Touring Partnership.
TUES 17 – SAT 21 MARCH THEATRE ROYAL NOTTINGHAM
Evenings: Tues 17, Fri 20 & Sat 21 at 7 pm www.trch.co.uk
Wed 18 at 1.30 pm; Thurs 19 at 10.30 am & 2.30 pm;
Sat 21 at 2.30 pm