ENGLISH comedian, actor and author David Walliams has two stage adaptations of his children’s books coming to Oxford's New Theatre this year.
The First Hippo On The Moon will rocket into the George Street venue in April, followed by the world premiere of Awful Auntie this October.
“I love seeing adaptations of my books, and really enjoy the changes,” explains David. “I come from writing for television which is very collaborative and have always like working with other people. Ultimately you feel like a magician when something that was in your head becomes real.”
David’s career in showbiz began when he was 24 years old, writing The Ant and Dec Show. Since 2012 David has sat on the judging panel for Britain’s Got Talent, which is hosted by the Geordie duo. The role saw him win Best Judge at the National Television Awards.
The award winner has collaborated with the award-winning theatre company Les Petits for the fantastical adventure, The First Hippo On The Moon, which features puppetry, music, mayhem and a giant space race to the moon!
“I have loved their work for many years so jumped at the chance to work with them. I love great children’s theatre shows, especially now I am a father, so am very excited to see this one. The book is full of humour and I know that are the perfect choice of theatre company to bring that out as there shows are so irreverent and funny. The best shows for children work for the grown-ups too, and I am sure this one will.”
The explosively funny space adventure for children of 3 and up sees two big hippos with one ENORMOUS dream. Who can make it to the moon first? And with that story, Walliams hopes audiences will take away one very important message: “That whoever you are you should dream big, just like Sheila the hippo. Plus if you work together as a team, then you can achieve so much more.”
David Walliams is the biggest selling children’s author to have started writing since the year 2000. Eight of his bestselling novels have been translated into over forty languages and have sold over eight million copies in the UK alone.
“There are so many great writers for children right now. My personal favourites right now are JK Rowling, Julia Donaldson, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo. When I a young child I loved Richard Scarry and Dr Seuss. My absolute hero is Roald Dahl. He is the greatest children’s writer of all time as he wrote so many brilliant books. I tend to be influenced by everything good I read, though it is pointless trying to copy anybody.”
The world premiere of David Walliams’ Awful Auntie is the amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very old car, a very large owl and a very small ghost.
Producers Birmingham Stage Company, following in the footsteps of last year’s acclaimed production of Walliams’ Gansta Granny, has built a world-wide reputation for quality children’s theatre since being formed in 1992. It regularly tours Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai with acclaimed productions including the live stage shows of Horrible Histories, which celebrated their tenth anniversary last year.
“Their Horrible Histories show was superb. I loved the humour and the interaction with the audience. Productions for children need to be fun and fast-paced. I think from pantomimes, children like audience interaction too. They like to be involved.”
The First Hippo On The Moon runs at the New Theatre Oxford from Fri 21 to Sat 22 April.
Awful Auntie will be live on stage from Wed 11 to Sat 14 October.
For more information and booking, visit www.atgtickets.com/oxford or call 0844 8713020.