The Silver Sword comes to the Old Rep Theatre October 2015

Via Emma at The Old Rep

The Silver Sword comes to the Old Rep Theatre October 2015

The Belgrade Theatre and Sell a Door theatre company present a new musical adaptation of Ian Seraillier’s much-loved children’s novel The Silver Sword, touring the UK in Autumn 2015 by Susie Mckenna & Steven Edis, directed by Susie Mckenna

Tom Mackley as Jan - Photo by Nicola Young
Tom Mackley as Jan – Photo by Nicola Young

Ian Seraillier’s highly acclaimed and much-loved children’s novel, THE SILVER SWORD, will receive its world stage première at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre from Sat 26 Sept – Sat 3 Oct before embarking on UK Tour throughout Autumn 2015. This brand new production comes to The Old Rep from Thursday 22 – Saturday 24 October.

Originally written in 1956, THE SILVER SWORD was recently named as one of the top 50 children’s books of all time by The Times. This brand new musical co-production has been adapted for the stage by Susie McKenna and Steve Edis.

Photo by Nicola Young
Photo by Nicola Young

THE SILVER SWORD is a heart-warming tale of three children whose determination to become a family again, takes them on an incredible adventure to find their father against all the odds. Set in the immediate aftermath of WWII, THE SILVER SWORD follows the Polish Balicki children’s search for safety as Europe is divided up and displaced people return to their homelands.

Along the way, Ruth, Edek and Bronia meet 14 year old Jan – a boy who, years before, had met their father by chance and been given the family’s precious paper knife, affectionately known as the Silver Sword. Jan’s instructions are to show it to the children, should their paths cross, with the message that their father is still alive and headed for Switzerland.

Rachel Flynn as Ruth, Oliver Bruckner as Edek & Katrin Connellan as Bronia - Photo by Nicola Young
Rachel Flynn as Ruth, Oliver Bruckner as Edek & Katrin Connellan as Bronia – Photo by Nicola Young

During their adventures they cross paths with people from every nation as well as animals such as Jimpy the cockerel, Bistro the chimpanzee and Ludwig the dog.

Full of warmth, music and excitement, this brand new musical adaptation is brought to life by a cast of skilled actor/musicians and features amazing puppetry and stunning visual projections.

Here’s the full cast:

Tom Mackley as Jan

Nathan Turner as Joe Wolski/ Gypsy Man

Lucy Tregear as Frau Wolff/ Mrs Krause

Julian Harries as Joseph

John O’Mahony as Herr Wolff

Oliver Buckner as Edek

Sue Appleby as Margarit

Rachel Flynn as Ruth

Alex Knox as Adam/Major Hargreaves

Bronia shall be played by various child actors from each venue.

This brand new co-production is presented by the Belgrade Theatre and Sell a Door Theatre Company, whose recent productions include Avenue Q (2014 UK Tour), Spring Awakening (2011 UK Tour), Seussical (West End) and the highly-acclaimed UK touring production of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys. 

Producer, David Hutchinson said:

“We are thrilled to be working in collaboration with The Belgrade Theatre on producing this exciting new adaptation based on Ian Seraillier’s classic “The Silver Sword” this autumn. At a timely moment during the First World War centenary years, we tell the story of a family devastated by war, opening in a city that can identify with the desolation that war had both on communities and individual families. I’ve been hoping to work with Susie McKenna and Steven Edis for some time, as a really exciting creative team who have penned an excellent piece of theatre for family audiences. The Silver Sword brings joy, truth, adventure and heart to the stage with a ensemble of top performers and creative – it really will be a treat for all the family”


Director – Susie McKenna is an established and versatile writer, director and actress, and is Hackney Empire’s Creative Director. She writes and directs all the Christmas shows at the Hackney Empire, as well as for the Haringey Shed, Hackney’s Youth musical theatre company (Fairytale Madness, Heroes and Villains, and Graffiti Gallery.) Susie has also written scripts for Trailblazers (in association with the BFI – HA HA Hackney), subsequently broadcast on TV.  Currently, she is adapting Ian Seraillier’s classic The Silver Sword, with composer/lyricist Steven Edis, as well as developing Hackney v Harlem (a transatlantic show with the Apollo Theatre Harlem), and is writing a series of children’s theatre books, Bentolina The Theatre Cat, as well as a new version of Dick Whittington for this year’s Hackney Empire panto.  Susie was nominated for the league of professional theatre women’s Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award 2012.

Musical Director – Steve Edis has worked alongside Susie McKenna, supervising the music for the pantomimes at Hackney since 1998. During the past couple of years he has worked as musical supervisor for Ace Of Clubs (Union Theatre), as composer for Richard III (Nottingham Playhouse/York Theatre Royal) and for The Captain of Köpenick (NT, Olivier Theatre), as arranger for High Society (National Tour), as music consultant for Relative Values (Theatre Royal, Bath, and West End), as performer/improviser for The Still (Improbable Theatre), as conductor/musical director for Rags at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; and as arranger/MD for A Chorus of Disapproval(Harold Pinter Theatre), in which he also played the part of ‘Mr Ames’.

Other credits include; The Lion in Winter, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Flare Path, The Country Wifeand Arcadia, all at the Haymarket; The Invisible Man at the Menier Chocolate Factory; Birdsong at the Comedy Theatre; Cinderella, Hamlet, Inherit The Wind and The Entertainer, all at the Old Vic; A Christmas Carol (with Susie McKenna) at the Arts Theatre; The Music Man, She Loves Me and Cyrano de Bergerac at Chichester Festival Theatre; Possessed (Oxford Playhouse); and King Lear and The Seagull  for the RSC.  He has arranged numerous musicals for the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, and composed music for many plays at the National Theatre, including The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Love’s Labour’s Lost, the Tom Stoppard trilogy The Coast of Utopia, The Relapse, The Cherry Orchard, The Merchant of Venice, Summerfolk, An Enemy of the People (also in Los Angeles) and Not About Nightingales. TV/film work includes arranging and musical supervision of live music in Richard Eyre’s film Iris, and for numerous episodes of EastEnders, Holby City andNew Tricks (BBC).  He has played piano for silent films at film festivals in Austria, and is a regular guest pianist with The Comedy Store Players.

The full tour schedule can be found here:

#BrumHour disclaimer: I’ve not been paid to post this content. But I am more than happy to share content for the The Old Rep which champions both theatre aimed at young people and theatre created by young people.