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A major new musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-selling book 'Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book' is coming to The Lowry this summer


Co-produced by The Lowry, Little Angel Theatre, and Rose Theatre a major new musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-selling book Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book will run this Summer at The Lowry, Salford from Tue 23 July to Sun 4 August. Reuniting adaptors Barb Jungr and Samantha Lane (who also directs) following their celebrated collaboration on the Olivier-nominated The Smartest Giant in Town, also written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Both picture books are published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

Charlie loves reading. Especially books about pirates. But his sister hates it – it’s boring!  Can Charlie convince her that reading is fun? Perhaps if she read a book about a pirate, who is reading a book about Goldilocks, who is reading a book about a knight…

Come and delve into a range of books with Charlie Cook, brought to life with puppetry and enchanting songs, and perhaps you will be able to help his sister discover the wonderful world inside a book…

The cast includes Pierre Hanson-Johnson as Charlie, Georgie Samuels as Mum, and Freya Stephenson as Izzy.

Julia Donaldson said: “I am delighted that Little Angel Theatre has adapted Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book for the stage. It is a book that celebrates the joy of reading in many forms – books, magazines and even encyclopaedias. It is a book within a book within a book – in fact there are 11 books in total – complete with pirates, ghosts, dragons and aliens, to name a few. I am excited that the story has moved from page to stage, complete with puppets and songs, and that the production will travel across the UK this year.

Axel Scheffler said “Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book is very different to the other stories by Julia that I have illustrated, as it is made up of many stories in one book. I enjoyed illustrating the different genres and creating the various characters, and it is great to see my illustrations now come to life on the stage. Little Angel Theatre’s clever production team has designed and created animal puppets that actually appear out of their individual books as their stories happen, which is such a brilliant idea. I am delighted to see Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book come to life on stage and I know that all our readers, young and old, will enjoy this production.”

Matthew Eames, Head of Theatres (Contemporary and Commissioning) at The Lowry said: “We can’t wait to finally host our co-production of Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book at The Lowry. Julia & Axel’s brilliant stories are so beloved by our audiences and we really wanted to build on our exhibition of their work last year – so we snapped up the opportunity to work with Little Angel Theatre and Rose Kingston to bring this story to the stage. The puppets are wonderful, and we think our audiences will love it.”

Little Angel Theatre Artistic Director Samantha Lane and Executive Director Peta Swindall said:

“As parents ourselves, we know just how special it is to cuddle up and read a book with a child; and Julia and Axel’s books are just so joyous and colourful, making the experience even more enjoyable. We hope audiences will enjoy delving into Charlie’s books as much as we have enjoyed pulling together all of the elements of this show. We are also thrilled to be offering workshops alongside the production. Children can be reluctant readers for many reasons, and we hope that either through the production or the workshop, those who struggle with reading might find new and creative ways into books.”

Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book will run at The Lowry, Salford from Tue 23 July to Sun 4 August. For more information and tickets visit

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