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Monday, 25 July 2011 10:23

LONDON: SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS Comes to the West End for Christmas

The National Theatre

The Bristol Old Vic production of

A new musical play with book by Helen Edmundson and songs by Neil Hannon, based on the book by Arthur Ransome

comes to the West End for a 5-week Christmas run, prior to UK tour

Vaudeville Theatre, 15 December 2011 - 14 January 2012
Suitable for 6yrs+

The critically acclaimed Bristol Old Vic production of SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS, a new musical play with book by Helen Edmundson and songs by Neil Hannon, comes to the West End this Christmas for a strictly limited 5-week run, presented by the National Theatre and The Children’s Touring Partnership.  Tickets are on sale from Monday 25 July for performances at the Vaudeville Theatre from 15 December - 14 January (press night: Monday 19 December.)

Based on the much-loved book by Arthur Ransome, this delightful and imaginative production is directed by Tom Morris, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and co-director of the National Theatre’s Tony Award-winning smash hit War Horse. SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS has music and lyrics by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy and is written by Helen Edmundson, who adapted the National’s Coram Boy

All aboard The Swallow! Follow Captain John and his able crew as they set sail to Wildcat Island on an exotic adventure to encounter savages, capture dastardly pirates and defeat mortal enemies.

An action-packed musical adventure for the whole family (ages 6+), Swallows and Amazons is a story of an idyllic era, of endless summer evenings and the beauty of youthful imagination.

SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS opened at Bristol Old Vic in December 2010 for a sell-out run and was a critical and popular hit;  it was originally developed at the National Theatre Studio. Following its run at the Vaudeville Theatre, the production will embark on a UK tour (dates to be announced on 1 September; for more information please visit

The director of movement is Toby Sedgwick, who won an Olivier Award for War Horse;  with set design by Robert Innes Hopkins, costume design by Robert Innes Hopkins & Liesel Corp, musical direction and arrangements by Sam Kenyon, lighting design by James Farncombe, sound by Jason Barnes and additional musical arrangements by Andrew Skeet.

Published in 1930, Swallows and Amazons was the first in a series of twelve books by Arthur Ransome (1884-1967).  Set in 1929 in the Lake District, it tells of the school holiday exploits of the Walker and Blackett children and their sailing dinghies – the Swallow and the Amazon.

Helen Edmundson’s many adaptations include Coram Boy, which played two sell-out seasons at the National Theatre, and Anna Karenina, Mill on the Floss, War and Peace, Gone to Earth (Shared Experience). Other work includes The Clearing (Bush Theatre), Mother Teresa is Dead (Royal Court), and a version of Calderon's Life is a Dream (Donmar).  Her new play, The Heresy of Love, opens for the RSC at the Swan in February 2012.

Neil Hannon is a singer, lyricist and composer. Although he is best known for writing, recording and performing as The Divine Comedy, he has also written extensively for TV and film, including the music to Father Ted and The IT Crowd. He has collaborated with everyone from Michael Nyman to Tom Jones, and his cricket-themed project The Duckworth Lewis Method was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award. Swallows and Amazons is his first venture into the world of musical theatre.

Tom Morris was appointed Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic in September 2009. As Associate Director of the National Theatre (2004 – 2009), he developed and co-directed (with Marianne Elliott) War Horse which is currently running in the West End and on Broadway, where it received 6 Tony Awards; and co-directed Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.Previously he was Artistic Director at Battersea Arts Centre from 1995 to 2004.  He sits on the board of Complicite and is Chair of the JMK Trust.

Established in 2010 and led by independent producer Fiery Angel and Chichester Festival Theatre, the Children's Touring Partnership receives generous support from Arts Council England. Their inaugural production, Goodnight Mister Tom, premiered at Chichester in January 2011 and subsequently toured the UK for fourteen weeks. The Children's Touring Partnership will be presenting the tour of Bristol Old Vic's stage adaptation of Swallows and Amazons throughout spring 2012.


For further press information on SWALLOWS AND AMAZONSat the Vaudeville Theatre, contact the National Theatre Press Office, Mary Parker or Laura Horton, on 020 7452 3235: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For further press information on SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS on tour, contact Cameron Duncan on 07971 572550: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

25 July 2011

Listings Information            
Vaudeville Theatre, Strand, London WC2
15 December 2011 –  14 January 2012
See below for performance times and schedule. 
Press night: Monday 19 December at 7pm

Tickets: £12, £25, £37.50, £42.50 (a £1 theatre restoration levy will be added to all
Under-18s:  Half-price tickets for top two prices (50% off £42.50 & £37.50), excluding
performances from 26 – 31 December inclusive
Senior citizens: Half-price tickets for top two prices (50% off £42.50 & £37.50) for
performances 2 – 14 Jan inclusive only
Disabled people: £17.50
Groups of 8+:  £29.50 for best available seats for all performances except w/c
26 December
School Groups of 8+: £17.50 for best available seats for all performances except          
w/c 26 December

National Theatre Box Office  No booking fee
Telephone:  020 7452 3000   Online:

Vaudeville Theatre Box OfficeBooking fee
Vaudeville Box Office: 0844 412 4663  Online:
Groups (SEE Tickets): 0844 412 4650

Performance Schedule:

Thu       15         7.30pm
Fri        16         7.30pm
Sat       17         3pm & 7.30pm
Sun      18         -
Mon      19         7pm (press night)
Tue       20         7pm
Wed     21         3pm & 7.30pm
Thu       22         7.30pm
Fri        23         3pm & 7.30pm
Sat       24         3pm (mat only)
Sun      25         -
Mon      26         2.30pm & 7pm
Tue       27         2.30pm & 7pm
Wed     28         7.30pm
Thu       29         3pm & 7.30pm
Fri        30         3pm & 7.30pm
Sat       31         3pm (mat only)

Last modified on Monday, 08 August 2011 20:17

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