Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo

Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo

‘Animal magic rivals War Horse’  The Guardian

For Lilly, going to Indonesia isn’t just another holiday with mum. It’s a new start, and the chance to ride an elephant called Oona. But then the tsunami hit – and Oona charges into the jungle, with her young rider desperately clinging on.

Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to lush life with extraordinary heart, vibrant colour and exceptional creativity, wowing audiences of all ages and critics alike.

Directed by Timothy Sheader and Dale Rooks with puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié, both previous Associate Puppetry Directors on War Horse, this epic and spectacular production tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss, loyalty and of living for the moment.

‘A winner. The puppetry is exquisite, with full-sized animals manipulated so they seem to breathe with life. The magic really hits you.’ ★★★★ Daily Telegraph  

‘Remarkable by its inventive, evocative staging.’ ★★★★ The Times  

‘Audacious and imaginative, stylishly directed and those puppets are things of never-ending beauty.’ ★★★★ Evening Standard  

Discover more about the show:

Fri 24 Mar, post-show discussion:
Join the cast of Running Wild to find out more about how this amazing show was created.

FREE to Fri 24 Mar, 7pm ticket holders. If you’d like to attend please remain in the auditorium after the show and make your way down to the stalls area of the theatre.

Sat 25 Mar, pre-show Interactive Presentation:
Join us for this lively and interactive presentation to find out about how puppets are made and how they are brought to life on stage.

Through a mixture of demonstration, conversation and some audience participation, puppeteers from the show will introduce you to some of the principal methods and techniques they use all the time in their work. We will explore why puppetry is so important in this production and at some of the joys and challenges of seeing the world and engaging with it as jungle animal, as well as offering some tips and inspiration for making your own puppets and using them to tell your own stories at home or at school.

Ages: Families with children aged 8 – 13
Times: 12.30pm (running time 1hr)

FREE to Sat 25 Mar, 2.30pm ticket holders but places must be booked be calling 020 8985 2424 or emailing

Children’s Touring Partnership presents Running Wild. Originally produced by Chichester Festival Theatre and Regent’s Park Theatre.

Hackney Empire

Wednesday : £18.50 – £10
Thu – Sat: £25 – £12

Concessions:  £2 off All prices

Family Saver Ticket: Buy 4 Price Band A tickets for £85
Group Bookings:  Buy 8 Price Band A – C Tickets and get £4 off each ticket

(plus £1 per ticket online, £1.25 per ticket over the phone).

£10 for best available seats

Running Wild Teachers Resource Pack

Running time: 2 hours inc 20 min Interval

Age recommendation: Family show +6yrs. Under 14s should be accompanied by an adult.


Creative Team

Timothy SheaderDirector
Dale RooksDirector
Finn CaldwellPuppetry Design & Direction
Toby OliéPuppetry Design & Direction

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