Steal the show

As Burglar Bill prepares to sneak onto stage next month, we catch up with the protagonist


How come you ended up being a burglar?
Cor blimey, I started being a burglar when I was still in nappies! The first time I stole something was when I was sat in my cot looking at my old mum making the dinner. When she left the cupboard door open I saw a lovely packet of ginger biscuits and I said to myself ‘that’s a nice packet of ginger biscuits…I’ll ‘ave that’.

Is it a difficult career to get into?
Oooh, there’s always lots of stuff to pinch, so I suppose anyone can be a burglar. Thing is, it only makes you happy for a minute, then you think about the poor person you’ve nicked stuff from and it makes you sad. I stole a sausage from a dog’s bowl once. Next day, I saw the dog looking really upset and hungry. It’s easy to be a burglar, but not very clever.

What particular talents do you need to be a thief?
You need to be really good at hiding. I love playing hide and seek, even though I’m a grown up! I used to hide in all sorts of little places, in boxes, cupboards, under armchairs... Now I’m older, and a bit rounder, I can’t hide so well no more. Now I usually put a large sheet over me and pretend I’m a sofa. Someone sat on me for 20 minutes once. Silly Bill!

What did your mum say about you being a burglar?
Oooh she wasn’t happy. She said ‘Bill, crime doesn’t pay, you silly boy’. It was ok though, I know how to win me old mum over. I said ‘Mum, I don’t need to be a burglar around you because someone’s already stolen the stars and put them in your eyes’. She smiled. She’s great my mum is. Her teeth are a bit like stars too: They come out at night! Ha ha ha… don’t tell her I said that.

How many lies have you told about your career?
Lots. Hundreds. Thousands! You have to lie every bloomin’ day when you’re a burglar and it’s really tiring. Questions like: ‘Who are you?’ ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Is this really your pink spotty dress?’ You have to make answers up all the time!

What was the biggest whopper?
The hugest whopper I ever told was to WPC Good. She caught me carrying a fridge I’d pinched up the road. When she asked me what I was doing I told her I had just adopted a sick penguin from the South Pole and I needed to keep him cold. I wish I did have a pet penguin, that would be fun!
Burglar Bill runs from Tuesday October 5 to Saturday October 9 at the Madinat Theatre, Jumeirah, with daily performances at 4pm Tue-Thu and three shows at 10.30am, 2pm and 4.30pm Fri-Sat. Tickets cost Dhs120 for adults and Dhs100 for children and are available from the Madinat Theatre box office (04 366 6550;

The story so far...

Absolutely everything in Burglar Bill’s life is stolen, from the stolen fish and chips and the stolen cup of tea he has for his supper, to the stolen bed he sleeps in. One night, when he’s out burgling, he comes across a box with holes in the lid on a doorstep. He steals it, of course, but what he discovers inside throws his nightly routine into hilarious chaos and ultimately changes his criminal life forever.

Learn alongside Burglar Bill that crime doesn’t pay with this riotous stage show, coming to Dubai next month. Using a special blend of live action, puppets, music and comedy, the Pandora’s Box Theatre Company bring Allan and Janet Ahlberg’s classic book to life. So, head down to the Madinat theatre from October 5-9 to meet Bill and many other colourful characters.

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