A Monster Calls

What

Theatres & Shows

For

10 years +

When

07/07/2018 - 25/08/2018

Where

Old Vic

Old Vic, The Cut, Waterloo, London

A Monster Calls

7 July–25 August

Tickets: £12–£50

Ages: 10+

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls Matthew Tennyson Old Vic

Patrick Ness’s bestselling novel A Monster Calls is brought to The Old Vic stage in a powerful new adaptation by director Sally Cookson.

The story is bleak. 13 year old Conor struggles to come to terms with his mum's terminal cancer; his pretty useless Dad has a new family in America, his gran drives him mad and he is bullied at school. And at precisely 12:07 every night he has started having a recurrent nightmare. The Monster in his dreams is the sprit of the old yew tree in the garden. And he has stories to tell, wild ones....

I am ashamed to say that I have neither read Patrick Ness' award-strewn book, nor seen the movie. I did however, love Sally Cookson's Peter Pan - as did my thirteen year old son who I took with me to to this. There is a lot of Cookson's trademark physicality here. The stark set is hung with thick white ropes that are used by the whole cast to brilliant effect. They twirl round each other to become the yew tree, they bear the monster menacingly towards Conor and consume him, they cradle him and offer rest. 

Although this is very definitely an 'issue' play - about coping and grief, anger and pain and how human beings are always made up of conflicting emotions - it is hugely engaging as a narrative. The ensemble cast create a stylised, repetitive dreamlike framework in which the story unfolds. The monster's tales are filled with energy and surprise, there is lots of humour and above all Conor, quite brilliantly played by Matthew Tennyson, is a totally compelling, regular 13 year old boy. You will be caught up in it completely. 

The suggested minimum age is 10+. I would definitely say no younger. My 13 year old reckoned it was the most powerful thing he has ever seen on stage. But it is not the stuff of nightmares. We chatted all the way back about how it made us feel, how clever it was, how Conor found a sense of peace with himself. 

An inspiring piece of theatre. Go!

Book your A Monster Calls tickets at oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2018/a-monster-calls

Monstrous Tales

The Old Vic are also hosting a very special storytelling session for younger children aged 5+ at 11am on Sat 28 July.

In association with Booktrust, authors and performers (including Glenda Jackson and Joseph Coelho) will read short stories from their own work and from their own favourite tales. Meet new friends and get reacquainted with old ones with a selection of stories about monsters of all shapes and sizes. 

Tickets are £6/£4 concessions. Click here to book. 

A Monster Calls

7 July–25 August

Tickets: £12–£50

Ages: 10+

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