Today, Les Enfants Terrible’s sister company Les Petits Theatre Company have announced that the stage adaptation of David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon will begin a major UK Tour in December 2016. Visiting 30 venues across the UK, the production will receive its world premiere at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne from 13 December 2016 until 7 January 2017. Suitable for children aged three and up, casting for The First Hippo on the Moon will be announced in due course.
David Walliams said: “I am delighted that The First Hippo on the Moon will be making its world premiere this December at the historic Eastbourne Hippodrome before travelling up and down the UK. I’ve been a long-time admirer of Les Petits Theatre Company and the innovative approach they take to theatre-making so I’m excited to see how they bring my hippo space explorers to life on stage.”
Les Petits Theatre Company said: “Les Petits Theatre Company are excited to be bringing David Walliams’ space race adventure to life for young audiences with our trademark mixture of larger than life puppets, fun, live music and adventure. We are delighted to be premiering the first stage adaption of David Walliams’ picture books for young readers, and to be working with an author who we have long admired for his boundless imagination and great sense of fun.”
The UK tour of The First Hippo on the Moon will visit Colchester, Guildford, Hayes, Dartford, Chesterfield, York, North Finchley, Worthing, Aberystwyth, Stourbridge, Bracknell, Norwich, Stafford, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Gravesend, Southend, Oxford, Newbury, Lowestoft, Hertford, St Albans, Woking, Winchester, Warwick, Ilkley, Swansea, Brighton, Greenwich and Billingham.
Based on David Walliams’ original children’s book with illustrations by Tony Ross, The First Hippo on the Moon is an explosively funny space adventure which sees the enormously rich Hercules Waldorf-Franklin III and ingenious Shelia compete to be the first hippo to make it to the moon.
David Walliams has taken the literary world by storm and his brilliantly funny stories are adored by children the world over. He has achieved unprecedented critical acclaim and quickly developed a reputation as a natural successor to Roald Dahl. His books have been translated into over 45 languages and sold over 9.5 million copies in the UK alone. One of his most successful titles Gangsta Granny was adapted for the stage in November 2015 by Birmingham Stage Company and continues on tour until January 2017.
The First Hippo on the Moon has been adapted for the stage by acclaimed theatre company Les Petits following their hugely successful production of Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs. The creative team at Les Petits have also worked on Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax at The Old Vic and the National Theatre’s productions of Elephantom, Warhorse and Raymond Briggs’ The Bear. Les Petits was set up as the sister company to Les Enfants Terribles whose work includes The Trench, The Vaudevillains and Olivier nominated Alice’s Adventures
David Walliams is one of Britain’s most popular writers and comic actors.
As a children’s author David is one of the most popular writers for children today selling over 11 million books around the world. His books have been translated into over 45 languages. The World’s Worst Children, his first collection of short stories, is a number one bestseller across all books having sold over 250,000 copies in 7 weeks. Grandpa’s Great Escape, his latest novel, was the overall number one and remained at the top of the charts for four weeks having sold over 700,000 copies to date. Awful Auntie has now sold over 657,000 copies and was the biggest selling book, across all categories, published in 2014. It also won both the National Book Awards ‘Children’s Book of the Year’ and ‘Audiobook of the Year’.
Little Britain, which he co-created with Matt Lucas, started on Radio 4 and soon progressed to BBC1. The show has won numerous international awards including three BAFTAs, and now plays in over 100 countries. Little Britain Live performed to a million people in the UK, Ireland and Australia. David and Matt followed Little Britain with the hugely popular spoof airport documentary series Come Fly With Me.
David has proved himself as a dramatic actor in BBC2’s Capturing Mary with Dame Maggie Smith, in BBC1’s Agatha Christie series Partners In Crime, as Frankie Howerd in the biopic Rather You Than Me for BBC4, and on the stage in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land starring alongside Sir Michael Gambon. He received the Comedy Award at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for his performance as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Michael Grandage.
His film credits also include The Look of Love, directed by Michael Winterbottom, Great Expectations directed by Mike Newell, Dinner For Schmucks with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd and directed by Jay Roach, Run Fat Boy Run directed by David Schwimmer and starring Simon Pegg, and Stardust directed by Matthew Vaughn.
Currently David is writing a screenplay for Dreamworks Animation with the director Edgar Wright.
13 December 2016 – 7 January 2017
Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne
Box Office: 01323 80 20 20
Suitable for children ages 3 and up
Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Box Office: 01970 62 32 32
Stourbridge Town Hall
Box Office: 01384 812812
Box Office: 01642 81 51 81
20 – 21 June
Kings Hall Ilkley
Box Office: 01274 432 000