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The Pirate Cruncher - the Arts Depot and on tour

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE Pirate Cruncher, a new play by Toby Hulse, adapted from the best-selling picture book by Jonny Duddle, will visit the Arts Depot on October 6, 2019 as part of an autumn tour.

This comically gruesome adventure of pirates, monsters and the ingenuity of one small girl is told through thrilling action, daft nonsense, stirring shanties, the weirdest of mechanical contraptions and a healthy dose of good old-fashioned audience involvement.

Music and songs are by multi award-winning folk musician Jon Boden.

Overlooking the harbour lies the Thirsty Parrot tavern, run single-handedly by plucky and clever seven year old Emily, child inventor extraordinaire. When her tavern is raided by Captain Purplebeard and his dastardly cut-throat crew, Emily determines to take revenge, by sending the pirates on a wild goose chase for treasure.

Little do they suspect that their ridiculous quest will lead them straight into the tentacles of the terrifying Pirate Cruncher, a monster who likes nothing better than to devour pirates for lunch!

Joel Scott, Director said: “We’ve read all of Jonny Duddle’s fantastic books to our children – stories of heroism, adventure and imagination and I can’t wait to bring The Pirate Cruncher alive on stage. We’ve assembled an incredible creative team, cast an array of wonderful and piratical actors and created a beautiful range of songs – everything is ship-shape to set sail in September.”

Jonny Duddle is a bestselling author who has written and illustrated several picture books and chapter books, including the Waterstones Prize-winning bestseller The Pirates Next Door. In fact, it was a year spent working on a square-rigger vessel, combined with his work as a concept artist on the Pirates of the Caribbean computer game, that inspired Duddle to create his highly successful debut picture book, The Pirate Cruncher.

Duddle also illustrated the latest Harry Potter book covers and was a concept artist for the Aardman film The Pirates! An Adventure With Scientists. He lives in Wales with his family.

The cast includes Oliver Britten (as Pirate Purplebeard/Gigsy), Martha Seignior (Emily), Anna Brook-Mitchell (Scurvy Sam/Mr Jolly) and James Dangerfield (Bony Bill/Miss Read/Mr Kindly).

Produced by Sally Scott for Goat and Monkey, The Pirate Cruncher has set and props design by Rebecca Brower.

The tour will visit Connaught Theatre, Worthing (September 21-22), Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot (September 28), Arts Depot, London (October 6), Millfield Theatre, London (October 21), The New Wolsey Theatre, Suffolk (October 22-23), The Marlowe, Kent (October 24-25), MAC, Birmingham (October 26-27), The Berry Theatre, Southampton (October 30-31) and The Old Market, Brighton (November 2-3).