NEXT Door But One are teaming up with Explore York Libraries to bring a magical storyteller performance of Philip Pullman’s The Firework-Maker’s Daughter to four York libraries over half-term.
The award-winning York theatre company originally created their theatrical adaptation as a Zoom performance during lockdown, reaching hundreds of young families desperate for creative projects to engage young ones stuck at home.
The online version was such a hit that Pullman gave permission for a solo storyteller version to be developed for community touring, performed last year by Emma Liversidge .
Backed by City of York Council and Make It York, Next Door But One’s show is to visit Acomb, Tang Hall, New Earswick and York libraries during October half-term, the story now told by Ceridwen Smith .
The show tells the story of Lila’s journey across lakes and over mountains as she faces her biggest fears, learning everything she needs to know to become the person she has always wanted to be.
Next Door But One’s production has been designed to be accessible to all young people and their families, including those with additional sensory needs and learning difficulties. It features Makaton [a language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate], magic and loads of audience participation.
Lyndsay Glover, of Explore York said, “We’re so delighted to be bringing this beautiful and magical version of The Firework-Maker’s Daughter to four of our libraries this half-term. We hope to reach a wide range of young families across York with daytime performances at local Explore sites and tickets at just £2.50.”
Sir Philip Pullman, best known for the His Dark Materials trilogy, has been vocal in his support of Next Door But One’s production. Recognising the cost-of-living crisis, he has waived all royalties for these performances, in lieu of a donation to the Trussell Trust, in support of a network of more than 1,200 foodbanks across Great Britain.
Emma Revie, the Trussell Trust’s chief officer, says: “We’re really grateful to Philip Pullman and Next Door But One for their support. Soaring food and fuel costs are affecting us all, but for families on the very lowest incomes, this crisis means so much more and more people are likely to need a food bank’s help.
“The support of Philip Pullman and Next Door But One will help food banks within our network continue to provide the lifeline of emergency support for local people, while we work in the long term to end the need for food banks, for good. Thank you so much.”
NDB1 artistic director Matt Harper-Hardcastle says: “This project encapsulates everything that Next Door But One stands for. Brilliant, original theatre made in York, for York audiences, with York artists… but also targeted at an audience that might not otherwise get to access theatre and, thanks to Sir Philip’s generous donation to the Trussell Trust, making a wider social impact. I couldn’t be prouder to be bringing this show to York families this half-term.”
Next Door But One present The Firework-Maker’s Daughter at Acomb Library on October 24 at 10am and 11.30am; Tang Hall Library, October 24, 2pm and 3.30pm; New Earswick Library, October 25, 10am and 11.30am, and York Explore, October 25, 2pm and 3.30pm. Tickets: £2.50, family tickets £8.50, at nextdoorbutone.co.uk.