Mr. Popper's Penguins!
Following a BML showcase, producer Kenny Wax commissioned Richy and Luke to write songs for his new show. Adapted from the children's classic by Florence and Richard Attwater.
It follows the story of Mr. Popper, a painter and decorator by trade, who dreams of escaping his suburban existence in Stillwater and becoming a renowned world explorer. Above all he longs to see the frozen wilderness of Antarctica.
His dream turns up on his doorstep - literally - when he is sent
a packing crate from the South Pole containing a real-life walking-squawking penguin. Soon the single bird becomes an entire rookery of penguins and The Poppers' humble home on Proudfoot Avenue is transformed into a penguins' playground.
With a dozen black and white heads to feed, Mr. and Mrs. Popper hatch a plan to train their penguins and tour them on the vaudeville circuit.
Mr. Popper's Penguins is an hour-long family musical packed
with colour, puppetry, humour and heart.
Following a successful Christmas tour and run at The Lowry Manchester in 2015, the show was picked to play The New Victory Theatre on 42nd Street, NYC before a spell in the
West End and a US tour.
★★★★★ "Magical" The Reviews Hub
★★★★ "Composers Luke Bateman and Richy Hughes succeed in turning the story into a musical, with a string of witty 1950s-influenced songs adding extra theatrical magic to an increasingly zany narrative that celebrates the triumph of imagination over conformity." The Stage
★★★★ "Composer Luke Bateman and lyricist Richy Hughes give each number a sunny Sherman Brothers-esque bounce, but, like the Shermans, they are also adept at plucking the heartstrings, as in the touching ‘I’m Still Here’." Musical Theatre Review
Photo © Helen Murray
Performers Russell Morton, Lucy Grattan,
Roxanne Palmer, Toby Manley
Lyrics Richy Hughes BML
Music Luke Bateman BML
Book Emma Earle & Zoe Squire