News Article

18th Mar 2019

Animal Magic Provides Family Fun at Theatre by the Lake

A menagerie of colourful animals including a furry fox, an enchanted phoenix, some street dancing weasels and a beat-boxing badger are set to take over the main stage at TBTL soon with two delightful shows both cleverly re-telling a traditional fairy-tale and a much-loved British classic. With aerial circus and dance fusion, first up is The Thief, the Fox & the Phoenix on Sat 23 March, followed by a brand new musical, In the Willows from Tue 2 – Sat 6 April.

Weaving together a fairy-tale, folklore and a sprinkling of nostalgia, circus specialists TurnAround Dance Theatre present The Thief, the Fox and the Phoenix, featuring a mischievous thief who embarks on a wonderful yet dangerous quest with his bushy-tailed friend Fox, to find an enchanted phoenix.

Following feathers as clues, the pair go on a roller coaster of an adventure together packed full of live singing, astounding aerial circus tricks and captivating storytelling. With lots of belly laughs, a few tears, a heart racing chase and some narrow escapes along the way, the audience soon realises the naughty thief is learning much more than he bargained for and has instead found the true meaning of friendship, love and family on his journey.

Acclaimed Lancashire-based company, Turnaround Dance Theatre was co-founded in 2013 by three sisters, Ellen, Grace and Lily Turner, who each have a passion to create work that inspires children and adults alike. Combining their talents with a mesmerising musical score, audiences who join in the quest are sure to leave with magical memories. Tickets are £14, U16s £8. The show plays two performances at 12pm and 3pm on Sat 23 March and is suitable for ages 4+.

Next up from 2 – 6 April is explosive new British musical In the Willows, based on the classic story, Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Presented by the award-winning Metta Theatre and on a regional tour of the UK, it stars Olivier award-winning actor and star of BBC's The Story of Tracey Beaker, Clive Rowe as Mr Badger, as well as X Factor favourite Seann Miley Moore as Duck, Let It Shine performer Matt Knight as Chief Weasel and deaf street dancer Chris Fonseca as featured on BBC One's The Greatest Dancer.

It tells the story of Mole's first day at her new school ‘The Willows' and her classmates look a bit scary. Surely Mr Badger will look out for her, as streetwise Rattie, rich kid Toad and cheeky Otter teach her the ways of The Riverbank. But when Toad gets locked up for joyriding, the Weasel Clan break into his (lily)pad. It's now only a matter of time before Chief Weasel reveals Mole's dark secret...

Featuring an exhilarating musical score and catchy lyrics, the show will also wow audiences with high-energy street dance choreographed by the award-winning Rhimes Lecointe (Associate choreographer for Zoo Nation, and Artistic Director of Boudicea) who has incorporated British Sign Language (BSL) into the choreography for a unified experience for D/deaf and hearing audiences alike.

The original story has been affectionately updated by director, Poppy Burton-Morgan and even includes quotes from the original novel woven into the updated words. Since the tour embarked, the marriage of musical theatre and hip-hop has been praised by audiences and critics alike, who've called it a ‘splendid retelling' (Reviewsgate), and ‘Rapping fantastic… an intelligent, witty and hugely exhilarating production' (British Theatre Guide).

With ballads, beats, and backflips, this fresh new musical promises to be fun for the whole family. Tickets are £24, £15. Students, U16s half price. Suitable for children aged 6 +. Book online at or call the Box Office on 017687 74411.


For further information or images, contact Lucy Preston on or 017687 81107.

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