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Matthew Kelly and Josefina Gabrielle to star in The Box of Delights at Wilton's Music Hall

Matthew Kelly

Casting news

MATTHEW Kelly and Josefina Gabrielle will star in the world premiere stage adaptation of magical Christmas book The Box of Delights. Written by Piers Torday and based on the novel by John Masefield, it runs at Wilton’s Music Hall from December 1, 2017 to January 6, 2018.

Joining Kelly and Gabrielle will be Mark Extance, Safiyya Ingar, Tom Kanji, Samuel Simmonds, Rosalind Steele and Alistair Toovey.

Matthew Kelly is an Olivier Award-winning actor best known for television and stage acting and presenting family favourites Stars In Their Eyes and Game For a Laugh. Having appeared in several West End productions – among them Of Mice and Men, Waiting For Godot, Funny Peculiar and Sign of the Times – he has most recently been appearing in Desire Under The Elms at the Sheffield Crucible.

Kelly said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to be returning to Wilton’s, a magical venue and the perfect setting for the Christmas classic The Box of Delights. How they will achieve the effects of snow, flood, talking animals, miniaturised children and flying cars in this exciting time-travel adventure I have no idea. If anybody can do it, Justin Audibert directing and Tom Piper designing can and that’s why I’m on board. Hurrah.”

Three-time Olivier-nominated Josefina Gabrielle has appeared in countless West End shows, including Stepping Out, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Sweet Charity and Merrily We Roll Along. Her television credits include Miranda, Doctors, Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Heartbeat.

Josefina Gabrielle

Gabrielle said: “I’m so excited to be joining the cast of The Box of Delights. And I can’t wait to see what this incredible creative team has in store for us in bringing this wonderful story to life at the very special Wilton’s Music Hall this Christmas.”

The original great British children’s literary classic, which has inspired authors from C S Lewis to J K Rowling, The Box Of Delights was reinvented as an award-winning BBC television show in the 1980s and became an instant cult classic, creating a fanbase of thousands around the world. This brand-new stage show, written by children’s author Piers Torday whose work includes the bestselling Last Wild trilogy and new novel There May Be A Castle, tells the story of young orphan Kay Harker, the boy who must save Christmas.

On the train home for the holidays he encounters an old magician, Cole Hawlings, who tasks Kay with protecting his Box of Delights, a wondrous device with time travelling powers. And so begins a tale of adventure that transports Kay through time and space, as he must protect the Box against Cole’s nemesis, the evil sorcerer Abner Brown.

The Box Of Delights is directed by Justin Audibert and designed by Tom Piper, with lighting design by Anna Watson, video design by Nina Dunn, musical composition and sound by Ed Lewis, movement direction by Simon Pittman and puppetry design by Samuel Wyer.

Read more about The Box Of Delights.