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" /> The Pied Piper Theatre Company - Robin's Winter Adventure

Synopsis

Show
Robin's Winter Adventure
Dates
10th November - 21st February
Runtime
50 minutes approx
Writer / Director
Tina Williams
Writer
Joseph Coelho
Suitable for ages 4+
Robin's Winter Adventure

A young boy's incredible journey with a feathered friend. But will facing his fears turn out to be the greatest adventure of all? This is an uplifting tale of change, bravery and friendship told with puppetry, poetry, music and magical design, for ages 4+ and their families. Join Pied Piper Theatre Company for a new play celebrating 30 years of outstanding children's theatre.

Robin's Winter Adventure is available to return for a Christmas run. If you're interested in having this production at your venue, please make an inquiry here.

Trailer for Robin's Winter Adventure!

Robin’s Winter Adventure is now on tour! It’s been a brilliant month of rehearsals and we shared our work for the first time yesterday with a preview audience. The reaction was incredible which means we’re ready… it’s time to take flight!

Creating Robin's Winter Adventure

Come join us for a sneaky peak into the Robin's Winter Adventure rehearsal room. The set is built, the actors are learning their lines, the worms are in the plant pots!

It's only week one but director Tina Williams and designer Catherine Chapman give some insight into the creative process in this short behind the scenes video. Enjoy!

Matthew Tanner
Matthew Tanner
Robin

Matthew studied acting at LIPA, graduating in 2007. Theatre includes: The Delicious Revenge of Princess Ruby Slippers (Oxfordshire Theatre Company), Pop Goes the 80s (York Grand Opera House), Space Hoppers (Tell Tale Hearts Theatre Company), Service with a Smile (The Lowry Theatre, Salford), Visiting Grandad and The Worm Collector (West Yorkshire Playhouse), and the National and International tour of Spot's Birthday Party.

Television includes: Coronation Street (ITV), Nightmare in Suburbia (Crime & Investigation Network). Matthew has also worked extensively for BBC Children's Radio, recording many short stories including The Ginger Bread Man and Good King Wenceslas.

After performing as Hugo in Care of Henry last year, Matthew cannot wait to return to Pied Piper Theatre Company again and begin his new winter adventure!

Andrew Utley
Andrew Utley
Dad

Andrew has worked as a theatre professional for over ten years, acting, writing and directing. He began his career with Off the Ground Theatre, a company based on The Wirral in North West England, where he tutored at the company's youth theatre as well as acting in their professional summer tours.

Theatre includes: Angeldust (Chequered Blue Theatre Company), Measure for Measure (Dark Corner Theatre Company), A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Movement) and Miller's Crossing (Secret Cinema 21). Andrew will be returning from the Edinburgh International Fringe this summer having once again worked with Box Step Productions, this time playing the role of Andy in Once Upon A Nightmare. This will be Andrew's second outing with the Pied Piper Theatre Company and he couldn't be happier to be touring again.

Leanne Rowley
Leanne Rowley
Mum

Leanne was born in Germany and brought up in Yorkshire. Her work to date includes very varying roles on stage including Tinkerbell in a recent production of Peter Pan (Duck Egg Theatre), various parts in Animal Farm (West Yorkshire Playhouse), and Ugly Sister/Fairy Godmother in the touring pantomime Cinderella. Her TV work includes Roberta Flock in Emmerdale (ITV) and film credits include Alice in Alice in Wonderlandfor Insomnia Productions. She has also recently completed a tour for Theatre Hullabaloo, playing Mother in the children's play Tiny Treasures.

Tina Williams
Tina Williams
Writer / Director

Tina Williams is the Artistic Director of Pied Piper Theatre Company, which she set up in 1984 having trained as both an actor and a teacher. Tina has written, adapted, directed and produced over twenty five plays for the company including a large scale national tour of Anne Fine's "The Book of the Banshee", a community tour of "A Little Princess" involving eight actors and eight young people and her recent new plays "The Big ENORMOUS Present" and "Robin's Winter Adventure".

In 1994 Tina set up the Education Department at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford, which ran until 2008. As well as directing several co-productions with the Yvonne Arnaud she wrote and directed ‘Flash! Bang! Rabbit! for the youth theatre as a creative and cultural exchange with the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff.

Tina has been engaged as Artistic Director for several co-productions throughout the UK and internationally in Singapore. She also directed several seasons at The Fortune Theatre in London’s West End. She is currently writing two new plays for age four upwards.

Joseph Coelho
Joseph Coelho
Writer

Joseph has written plays for companies including: Soho Theatre, Polka Theatre, Theatre Royal York, Oily Cart, The Spark Children's Festival, Islington Community Theatre, Pied Piper Theatre Company and Pinhole Theatre Company. His plays have received special note from Soho's Verity Bargate Award and The Bruntwood Playwriting Competition.

Joseph is writer, performer and co-founder of Word Pepper Theatre Company with author/illustrator/paper-engineer John O'leary. Word Pepper's debut show The PoetryJoe Show has toured widely up and down the country over the last two years, the company is currently creating their second show with Half Moon Theatre and Apples and Snakes.

His poems have been published in several Macmillan anthologies including Green Glass Beads ed. by Jacqueline Wilson. His debut children's collection "Werewolf Club Rules" is published by Francis Lincoln. Joseph has been a guest poet on Cbeebies Rhyme Rocket where he was beamed up from The Rhyme Rock to perform his Bug Poem.

Roman Stefanski
Roman Stefanski
Puppetry Direction

Roman completed a postgraduate course at the Drama Studio London and entered into the world of professional acting in 1977. His forté has always been visual and physical theatre with a strong understanding of the technical aspects as well.

He joined Polka Theatre as an actor in 1980 and has mostly worked with Polka now for more than 31 years, first as staff and now as a freelance director, producing over 55 shows, helping it to become one of Britain's leading theatre companies for children along with international recognition. Over these years he developed his puppetry skills and with the experience of many years of directing and performing has been able to help and teach actors how to lose their doubts and inhibitions of puppetry, developing their own skills in object manipulation.

Roman is a qualified PTLLS teacher and has been coaching students in acting, and teaching/directing students at drama colleges in England (The Academy of Live and Recorded Art, East 15, Drama Studio London) as well as giving various master classes in puppetry /design for puppetry (Central School of Speech and Drama, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Little Angle Theatre). He is a puppetry consultant for various theatre companies as well as Pied Piper, (Watershed productions, Birmingham Stage Co, Mid Wales Opera, Pied Piper Productions, Thousand Cranes Co, All Aboard Productions, Polka Theatre - guest directors)

Having directed a very successful production of Lauren Child's characters Charlie and Lola in "Charlie and Lola's Best Bestest Play" for Polka Theatre, Roman is now BBC Worldwide exclusive director for this play which is now touring Britain as well as having played in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia including the Sydney Opera House. In Sao Paulo, it was performed in Portuguese and also played in Rio de Janeiro before touring major cities in Brazil. 

Roman has received "members award" for his years of work in children's theatre by Action for Children's Art.

Angela Gasparetto
Angela Gasparetto
Movement Director

Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Angela is a movement director, director, performer and teacher. Recent projects include Sizwe Banzi is Dead at the Young Vic & UK Tour (as movement director) and Life on Wheels with circus company Bella Kinetica (as director). Other movement direction credits include: Love is Easy (music video; McFly); A Midsummer Night's Dream(Custom/Practice); The Kitchen (Fourth Monkey); Faith, Hope & Charity (Southwark Playhouse); Emma Thompson Presents: Fair Trade(Shatterbox). For Pied Piper Theatre Company: Great Gran's Great Games and My Big Little Sister. Angela is Course Director of Fourth Monkey's Two Year Rep Actor Training Programme.

Brendan Murray
Brendan Murray
Dramaturge

Originally from Manchester, Brendan trained as an actor and worked for ten years in schools, fringe, Rep and commercial theatre.  From 1982 to 1985 he was Head of Theatre-in-Education at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and later writer-in-residence at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.  Since 1990 he’s divided his time between writing, directing and teaching - principally at Drama Studio London. In 2002/3 he was the Visiting Gulbenkian Fellow in the Department of Palliative Care at King’s College Hospital and, from 2003 to 2008, Artistic Director of Oxfordshire Theatre Company. His plays are regularly produced throughout the UK and abroad and have won both Brian Way and Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards. Like the good northerner he is, he lives in Brighton. For more details visit www.brendanmurray.co.uk

Julian Butler
Julian Butler
Music

This is Julian's second show for Pied Piper Theatre Company. He has composed music for lots of theatre shows for children and young people, including Charlie and Lola's Best Bestest Play, Charlie and Lola's Extremely New Play and Gorilla (Polka Theatre, directed by Roman Stefanski), Up and Down (GaGa Theatre Company), The Paper Washi Wish and Little Sunshine, Little Rainfall (A Thousand Cranes Theatre), and A Christmas Carol (Lakeside Arts, Nottingham). He has written several musicals for young people including Beauty and the Beast, Red Riding Hood and Flat Stanley (with Mike Kenny, Engine House Theatre) and Run! A Sports Day Musical (with Lisa Evans, Polka Theatre).

Ashley Illman
Stage Manager

Biography currently in development!

Catherine Chapman
Catherine Chapman
Designer

Catherine trained in Theatre Design at Nottingham Trent University.

Current design work includes: Princess and Pea (tutti Frutti), Wind In The Willows (York Theatre Royal), Robin’s Winter Adventure (Pied Piper theatre Company)

Theatre production designs include: The Fever Chart (Pilot Theatre), The Diver (Soho Theatre and Setagaya Public Theatre, Tokyo), Fly in the Ointment, Cover her Feet (Stephen Joseph Theatre), King Arthur, As You Like It, The Crucible (costume design), Wind In The Willows, Coram Boy, 1984, Keys to the Kingdom, Bouncers, September in the Rain, The Trial, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (York Theatre Royal), Rapunzel, Hare and Tortoise, The Girl who Lost her Smile (Tutti Frutti), The Feathered Ogre, Jack and the Beanstalk, Madame Butterfly (English Touring Opera Education).

Film work includes: The Knife that Killed Me.

Catherine works extensively with young people including youth theatre, community projects and working as an artist in schools.

Surrey Advertiser - Beautiful Story of Boy's Move to the Capital
★★★★★

There could not be a better way than this, to introduce your young child to theatre. And unlike a number of other children's productions I've been to, this didn't put me to sleep either.

Robin's Winter Adventure is a beautiful production by The Pied Piper Theatre Company about Robin, whose parents are faced with the daunting prospect of moving from their idyllic life in a countryside village, to the big, scary city of London.

Robin, with the help of his bird, conquers his fear of the unknown and embarks on a beautiful adventure with renewed hope and joy. The three cast members are extremely versatile and hold the attention of the audience right to the end.

Matthew Tanner, the star of the show, brings to life the character of Robin, whose love of poetry and rhyme on the one hand, and fear of the unknown on the other, is beautifully portrayed by the extremely talented actor. Leanne Rowley and Andrew Utley, primarily the parents, also play other smaller parts in the play, moving from one to the other effortlessly. 

And what better way to hold the attention of young children than  to fly a beautiful red robin, with a little boy on its back, in their midst. The puppets, a core part of the play, make quite an impact, especially in the dream sequence where Robin flies to London, taking in the sights on the back of his companion, the red robin.

The script is beautifully written. Writer and Director Tina Williams in collaboration with poet Joseph Coelho creates a picturesque image of London through Robin's poem. Wintry London with the 'icicle shard' and the Thames resembling 'a frozen ribbon to the sea' at one point and then being 'choked by claws of smoke' on the other, captivates both children and adults. With minimal set it is the words that create most of the imagery and display the feelings of fear in the beginning and hope and desire in the end.

Namita Gandhi.

The Stage Review Robin's Winter Adventure "inspirational...uplifting"!
★★★★

Graham Gurrin gives Robin's Winter Adventure 4 stars in his review in The Stage:

Robin and his family have to move from their idyllic rural life to one in the big city, and understandably the young boy doesn’t want to go.

Andrew Utley plays dad, himself unhappy about the change, spending too much time preparing too many flowerpots to take to the new flat. Leanne Rowley is mum. Efficient, industrious and always right, the disappointingly short flute piece she plays nicely demonstrates just how focused she is. But the star of the show is Matthew Tanner as Robin. At one moment showing off because he doesn’t want to leave his familiar surroundings (“It’s not fair!”), at another bowing to an imaginary audience because he has just made up another poem, he captures brilliantly both a child’s tantrums and also his wide-eyed enthusiasm, particularly for rhymes. The scene in a school assembly where he chats to the audience of children around him is magical.

Puppets are used to great effect, particularly in the dream sequence, where a robin carries Robin on his back over London.

The company is celebrating 30 years of productions with a show as inspirational about the possibilities of children’s theatre as it is uplifting in its tale of a young boy coming to terms with a crisis in his life.

Verdict: A young boy finds encouragement at a difficult time from the bird that sings at his window and from writing poetry in this entertaining production for children from the age of four.

You can see this review on The Stage website here.

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Robin's Winter Adventure - Audio Storybook
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Picture to colour in!
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Illustrated Story of Robin's Winter Adventure
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Make Your Own Robin Instructions and Template
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Word Search from Robin's Winter Adventure
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Wriggly Worm Song Sheet Music
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Robin's Wintery Crossword
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London Landmarks Fun Activity
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