A monster is coming to Newcastle

Published: 8 June 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

2019 Best Entertainment and Family Olivier Award winner A Monster Calls, an Old Vic production in association with Bristol Old Vic, is heading to Newcastle. The play, from the novel by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd and adapted and directed by Sally Cookson, will begin a 16-venue UK tour in February and will arrive at Newcastle Theatre Royal from 5 to 9 May 2020.

Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved away, but now his mum is sick and not getting any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school won’t look him in the eye.

Then, one night, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears.

“Stories are wild creatures,” the monster said. “When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”

Offering an insight into love, life and healing, the book has sold over a million copies and garnered huge critical acclaim, including an unprecedented double win of the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for outstanding children’s literature and illustration.

“Being given the opportunity to adapt Patrick Ness’s beautiful book was a career highlight,” said Sally Cookson, “and I am thrilled to be able to bring it to life once more in a new touring production that will see it reach a wider audience.

“The story of thirteen-year-old Conor lost in a mire of anxiety and fear strikes a chord with anyone who’s been threatened with losing someone they love. The combination of gritty realism and magic make it perfect material for theatre. Despite packing an emotional punch, it is ultimately a show that brings together audience and actors to explore some of the harder aspects of being human, and find comfort collectively as the story unfolds.”

This adaptation is suitable for age 10+.