With his smart blue jacket, shiny brass buttons and charmingly rebellious streak, Peter Rabbit is one fictional character who needs little introduction. However, most of us are more familiar with the twitchy-nosed gentleman’s illustrated adventures than his theatrical shenanigans. But all that is set to change when the musical stage debut of The Tales of Peter Rabbit opens in Dubai on Monday, November 23.
Narrated by a suitably English ‘Beatrix Potter’, the show, which has the approval of the original Potter publishers, is just short of two hours long. It features lots of singing and dancing, colourful scenery and familiar forest faces including Benjamin Bunny, Mrs Tiggywinkle, Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddleduck and the unforgettable Mr McGregor.
Nick George, director at Premier Stage Productions Ltd, describes the production as a delight for children, and a trip down memory lane for their parents. ‘The stories and books take us back to a simple and innocent time, and remind us of our childhood,’ he says. ‘Parents and their parents before them, grew up with the stories – so they feel a real sense of nostalgia at seeing them again.’
With a winning story formula that has stood the test of time (over two million copies of the Beatrix Potter tales are sold every year worldwide) the show already has a head-start on success. But aspects of the original language have been updated.
George explains, ‘The older-style language in the books is readily accepted by children, especially as the first time they hear it is most likely when their parents read them the stories. For the theatre production, we have altered this slightly to make it more appealing and child friendly.’ He goes on to explain, ‘When reading a book, children can re-read a passage they may not fully understand at the first attempt. However, with a stage show, they only have one chance to listen and comprehend a passage of dialogue, hence the reason we made it a little more child friendly.’
Performances: Mon Nov 23, 8.45am; Tue Nov 24, 8.45am, 11.15am, 4pm; Wed Nov 25, 8.45am, 11.15am, 4pm. Morning shows are mainly for schools and nurseries. Afternoon shows will be open to the public. Tickets cost Dhs90-Dhs180 from www.timeouttickets.com, Ductac (04 341 4777) and branches of Toy Store and Hallmark. For school shows, call 050 880 5074.