Kids’ favourite hits the stage at Mansfield

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is to be performed at Mansfield Palace Theatre on March 14.

It will feature a menagerie of 75 enchanting puppets during a magical 60-minute show that faithfully adapts four of Eric Carle’s best loved books for the stage: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle’s books have captivated generations of readers with their iconic hand-painted illustrations and distinctively simple stories, introducing millions of children to a bigger, brighter world, and to their first experience of reading itself. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has nibbled its way into the hearts of millions of children all over the world.

It has been translated into 62 languages and sold over 41 million copies, remaining one of the top ten bestselling children’s books of all time. Since it was first published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, most of which he also wrote, and more than 132 million copies of his books have sold around the world.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is adapted for the stage by director Jonathan Rockefeller, whose production sees four master puppeteers weave their way through Eric Carle’s stories, bringing to life 75 magical puppets that faithfully recreate the wonderfully colourful world of Carle’s illustrations.

Jonathan Rockefeller said: “Eric Carle has created a deceptively simple, yet sophisticated introduction to reading through the magic of his iconic collage illustrations and memorable stories. I still have my original copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and to this day can’t help but be enthralled by the stylish and captivating art in Eric’s work.

“For many in the audience, this show will undoubtedly be their very first time at the theatre, so we have been very conscientious to ensure that we have been absolutely faithful to their favourite characters. Our goal is to take the audience on a truly memorable journey, bringing these stories to life through the magic of puppetry, movement and stagecraft. We have a menagerie of larger-than-life puppets, bursting with vibrant colour - it’s astonishing to compare the original illustrations to the puppets and how exact they are.

“When our puppets appear on stage the atmosphere is positively electric - parents and grandparents are swept up in nostalgia, and you can hear peels of laughter and squeals of delight as joy fills the theatre. We can’t wait to bring The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Mansfield!”

Eric Carle added: “I am delighted my friends in the UK will soon be able to share the same enjoyment I felt when seeing my characters come to life in the beautiful and enchanting Broadway production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show.”

Tickets for the Mansfield show are priced at £10.25 full/£8.20 child/family of four £32.80 (including 2.5 per cent booking fee. Online booking fees are £1 per ticket.) Contact the box office to book tickets on 01623 633133 or book online at mansfieldpalace.co.uk.