World premiere in Bristol

PUBLISHED: 17:26 10 November 2010

Swallows and Amazons

Swallows and Amazons


THE world premiere of a new musical will visit the Bristol Old Vic in time for Christmas.

Swallows and Amazons sees Helen Edmundson (Coram Boy), Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy) and Tom Morris (War Horse) collaborate for the first time.

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.

A new musical for the whole family, written especially for Bristol Old Vic, Swallows and Amazons is a story of an idyllic era, of endless summer evenings and the beauty of youthful imagination.

Published in 1930, Swallows and Amazons was the first in a series of 12 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 is a playwright and adaptor. Her original plays include Flying (National Theatre Studio), The Clearing (Bush Theatre – John Whiting Award for Best New Play) and Mother Teresa is Dead (Royal Court Theatre).

Neil Hannon is the creator and front man of the orchestral pop group The Divine Comedy.

The group’s albums are Fanfare for the Comic Muse, Liberation, Promenade, Casanova, A Short Album About Love, Fin de Siècle, A Secret History, Regeneration, Absent Friends, Victory for the Comic Muse and Bang Goes the Knighthood.

He has contributed to the Doctor Who: Original Television Soundtrack and the soundtrack for the film of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; as well as working with Tom Jones and Ute Lemper, amongst others.

Tom Morris was appointed in September 2009 as artistic director of the Bristol Old Vic.

He was formerly associate director at the National Theatre where he developed and co-directed the sell-out productions Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and War Horse.

The production will be staged at the venue from December 1 to January 15.

Tickets, priced £5-26, are available from the box office on 0117 987 7877 or via

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