Cirencester’s Barn Theatre is the home of new Michael Morpurgo plays!

An elephant in the garden.

The Barn Theatre in Cirencester will soon debut the world premiere production of a new stage adaptation of beloved children’s author Michael Morpurgo’s, Waiting For Anya.

Regarded by the author as one of his favourite pieces of work, this will mark the second time that Morpurgo has entrusted the award-winning theatre with adapting his books for the stage, following their hugely successful adaptation last season of The Mozart Question, further underlying the strong relationship the theatre has with him.

Waiting For Anya, which runs from 27th March – 5th May, will actually mark the fifth Morpurgo play to be staged at the Barn following, The Butterfly Lion, Private Peaceful, An Elephant in the Garden and The Mozart Question.

These Barn adaptations have received considerable critical acclaim, landing two national awards (Off West End Awards) and a host of five-star reviews and recommendations. Private Peaceful won the Offiette Award for young people and families, An Elephant in the Garden was runner up for the Offiette for Children (7-11).

The Mozart Question

Their 2022 production of, The Mozart Question, was named one of The Observer chief critic Susannah Clapp’s Top 10 shows of 2022 and director Jessica Daniels received a UK Theatre Awards nomination for Best Director.

Waiting For Anya will be the first stage adaptation of Morpurgo’s 1990 Carnegie Medal shortlisted novel, which tells the story of Jo, his grandfather and a widow who help smuggle Jewish children across the border from occupied southern France into Spain during World War II. Morpurgo’s novel received a 2020 film adaptation starring Noah Schnapp, Angelica Houston and Jean Reno.

Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo said of his connection with the theatre and the new production, “The Butterfly Lion, The Mozart Question, Elephant in the Garden, Private Peaceful. The wonderful Barn has put on play after play adapted from my books, and each one has been extraordinary and unforgettable. Simply brilliant.

And now Waiting for Anya. This is inspired by a true story of a small community living in their mountain village in the Pyrenees under Nazi Occupation in WW2, of their courage in aiding the escape of Jewish children over the mountains into neutral Spain. 

I happened upon the village of Lescun, some 30 years ago, met the people there, listened to their stories, saw the sheep, cheese being made during the Transhumance, heard the music they sing, walked the fields and tracks the refugees walked, saw the caves where they hid, stood atop a mountain, one foot in Spain, one in France. I had to write their story. I called it Waiting for Anya. 

And now we have the play, commission by The Barn, and written with wonderful insight by Simon Reade, who has adapted so many of my stories so perfectly. I cannot wait to see this production, to be transported from Cirencester to Lescun, to hear the music, hear the eagles’ cry, to live the story, again for me, but maybe for you the first time. 

Thank you to The Barn, thank you Simon, thank you cast and crew, and thank you for coming.

You can catch this wonderful adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s book, Waiting For Anya, at the Barn Theatre from 27th March – 5th May.

An inspirational and extraordinary story of hope, courage, unlikely heroes and a village that came together to do the right thing. Another Michael Morpurgo special given the Barn treatment.

To book your tickets go to http://www.barntheatre.org.uk or via the theatre’s box office at 01285 648255.

It’s still not too late to consider a Barn Season Pass and save up to 30% on the regular ticket price. For more information go to http://www.barntheatre.org.uk or contact the theatre’s box office at 01285 648255.

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