The Butterfly Lion, Adapted from the Novel by Michael Morpurgo, to Premiere at U.K.'s Mercury Theatre

By Mark Shenton
July 3, 2013

The Butterfly Lion, adapted from the children's novel of the same name by Michael Morpurgo, will begin performances at Colchester's Mercury Theatre Aug. 30 for a run through Sept. 14.

It will then tour to Cheltenham, Llandudno, Cambridge, Eastbourne, Malvern, Nottingham, Glasgow, London's Richmond Theatre and Brighton, under the auspices of Bill Kenwright Ltd.

First published in 1996, the book won the Smarties Book Prize that year, and follows the adventures of Bertie and the White Lion as they strive to find sanctuary amongst devastating adversity. It has now been adapted for the stage by the Mercury's artistic director Daniel Buckroyd, who will also direct the production.

The cast will be led by Gwen Taylor, best known for her role as Amy in TV's "Barbara" and seen recently as Ann Foster in "Coronation Street." Other TV credits include "Heartbeat," "Class Act" and "Midsomer Murders." Theatre credits include Driving Miss Daisy, Calendar Girls, Prick up Your Ears and Shirley Valentine.

Morpurgo was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2007. He has written over 120 books, including "War Horse" (subsequently adapted for the stage where it is an ongoing hit in the West End and also ran on Broadway); "Kensuke's Kingdom," which won the Children’s Book Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award in 2000; and "Private Peaceful," which won the 2004 Red House Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award in 2005.

For full touring details and to book tickets, visit