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Event: Running Wild

Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild comes to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 May, as part of its first UK tour.

Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to life in this award-winning production, which has been described by critics as ‘inspiring’, ‘evocative, ‘imaginative’ and ‘life-affirming’. Adapted for the stage by Samuel Adamson and originally produced by Regent’s Park Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre, this epic production, complete with spectacular life-size puppets, tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss and loyalty and of living for the moment.

Running Wild is the story is of a girl named Lilly, who, whilst on holiday with her mother in Indonesia, takes an elephant ride. During the ride, Oona, the elephant, suddenly becomes anxious and runs from the beach deep into the jungle. With Lilly on her back, they escape moments before the tsunami hits the island. Miles from civilisation, at first there’s wonder, discovery and tree-top adventures with the orangutans, but, as thoughts turn to her mother left behind on the beach, and wild tigers prowl, and hunger hits, Lilly must now learn to survive the rainforest.  And then the hunters come…

Michael Morpurgo, the former children’s laureate and author of War Horse, was inspired by the real-life story of Amber Owen, who was on holiday in Phuket with her mother and stepfather in 2004. While riding along the beach on an elephant, the eight-year-old noticed the animal was attempting to pull away from the receding sea water. “He ran away and, as the water came in, I was safely on his back. He saved my life.”  When he read Amber’s story in the newspaper, Michael Morpurgo said it was the one bit of hope amid the destruction of the Boxing Day tsunami which hit South East Asia. The production will work to support the Born Free Foundation’s global elephant conservation projects.

Directed by Timothy Sheader and Dale Rooks, with puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olie, both previous Associate Puppetry Directors on War Horse, this spectacular production tells a moving story of love, loss, loyalty and living for the moment.

Running Wild takes to the Derngate stage from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 May. Tickets are priced from £12.50 to £27*. To check times or to book, call Box Office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

I'm the editor and owner of The NeneQuirer.

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