Story Pocket Theatre returns to the Neeld next month with a production of King Arthur based on the book Arthur: High King of Britain by Michael Morpurgo. We caught up with the company to find out what audiences can expect from this show.
Why did Story Pocket pick King Arthur as their latest production?
We have a passion for finding our own way of telling well-loved stories – Arabian Nights, A Pocketful of Grimms and The Nutcracker are some of our previous shows. The King Arthur stories have been around for hundreds of years and we felt we’d like to explore the myth. There is so much in Arthur’s story and those of his knights of the Round Table – heroism, love, betrayal, battles, quests, magic and mystery. The stories have been told many times in books and on stage and screen but Michael Morpurgo’s version, Arthur: High King of Britain takes a slightly different, almost darker, look at Camelot and the story of King Arthur and his beautiful wife, Guinevere. Michael is Story Pocket’s patron and so when we thought about creating a new version of King Arthur, there was only one place to look.
Who is their favourite character in the story?
Well, there are so many strong characters that are loved by the actors and the audience for different reasons. Merlin’s dog, Bercelet, is massively popular with audience members as he is the most glorious puppet that melts everyone’s hearts. Then there is the gigantic Green Knight who is literally larger than life and great fun.
But how do you choose a favourite when there are the likes of Arthur himself who is heroic, noble and honest; or Merlin, a mysterious, magical teacher and wizard; Guinevere the beautiful and witty queen, full of goodness; Lancelot, dashing and brave but troubled by love; or Gawain who fights the Green Knight and sort of falls in love with someone he shouldn’t? Then of course there is the evil and scheming Mordred, Arthur’s secret son. Everyone has a different favourite.
Who should come and see this show?
Anyone and everyone who loves stories, even if they haven’t heard much about King Arthur – but those that have heard the Arthur stories should be made to attend by law! It’s super family friendly as there is love, adventure, magic, heroism and chivalry which enough for everyone to leave happy. Oh, and some really good sword and stick fighting. The age guideline is for 7+ but we have found that youngsters below that age have enjoyed the show just as much as everyone else. But if you’re under 5 it might be a tiny bit too complicated.
What is Story Pocket Theatre’s favourite tour snack?
That’s a tough one. With a cast of six or seven there are so many tastes. When we were touring last autumn, there were lots of crisps consumed in one particular dressing room while next door it was salad all the way. There is always a lot of fruit – bananas and apples, mainly – being munched. Lots of cast members pretend that they are really healthy eaters but if anyone brings in those M & S tubs of chocolatey caramel crisps or rolls, they are gone in seconds. Chocolate seems to be top of the popularity pile. Although, come to think of it, the flapjacks in tubs are pretty scrummy as well.
Book your tickets here.