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Full casting and the complete tour schedule are announced for the highly anticipated upcoming production of George Orwell’s classic satirical fable, Animal Farm, adapted and directed by the multi award-winning Robert Icke (The DoctorHamletMary StuartOresteia1984).  

The brand-new production will embark on an extensive UK tour, opening at Birmingham Rep from 22 January 2022, with press night on Wednesday 2 February.  The play then tours to Cambridge, Newcastle, Bath, Norwich, Salford, Plymouth, Nottingham, Coventry, Blackpool, Liverpool, Canterbury, Richmond and Wolverhampton, completing its run on 28 May 2022 at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre.

The cast of Animal Farm includes Matt ChurcherDarcy CollinsEnrico D. WeyAilsa DallingElisa De GreyEdie EdmundsonMichael Jean-MarainRayo PatelYana PenroseMarkus SchabbingSharon SzeBen Thompson and Matt Tait.

The production also combine the forces of some of UK theatre’s most talented creatives, including designs by the four-time Olivier Award-winning Bunny Christie (A Midsummer Night’s DreamCompanyInkThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), and puppetry by Toby Olié (War HorseRunning WildThe Grinning ManGoodnight Mister Tom).

The animals of Manor Farm drive out the farmer and run the farm themselves.  

A revolution. And then what? Then freedom. Every animal will be free. 

Old Major, the prize boar, calls the animals of Manor Farm together.  

He has had a strange dream of a better future. 

George Orwell’s world-famous, biting political novel was first published in 1945 and tells the story of a revolution and its aftermath. Re-imagined by an award-winning creative team, Animal Farm is a dynamic, daring and contemporary take on a timeless story.

Icke previously worked on another of Orwell’s classics, 1984, which he co-adapted and directed alongside Duncan Macmillan, garnering him his first Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play in 2014, enjoying smash-hit runs in both the West End and on Broadway. Animal Farm also reunites Icke and Christie following their celebrated 2016 collaboration on The Red Barn at the National Theatre.

The production is produced by Children’s Theatre Partnership (CTP) in association with Birmingham Rep. CTP creates bold and imaginative theatre for young people, engaging new audiences and aiming to inspire a life-long love of theatre.


By George Orwell

Adapted & Directed by Robert Icke

Set & Costume Designs by Bunny Christie

Puppetry Designs & Direction by Toby Olié

Produced by Children’s Theatre Partnership in association with Birmingham Rep

Press Night: Wednesday 2 February @ 7pm – Birmingham Rep

Website: |


  • Birmingham Repertory Theatre 

22 January – 05 February 202 0121 236 4455


  • Cambridge Arts Theatre 

08 February – 12 February 2022 01223 503333


  • Newcastle Theatre Royal 

22 February – 26 February 2022 08448 11 21 21


  • Bath Theatre Royal 

01 March – 05 March 2022 01225 448844


  • Norwich Theatre 

08 March – 12 March 2022 01603 630 000


  • Salford Lowry

22 March – 26 March 2022 0343 208 6000


  • Plymouth Theatre Royal 

29 March – 02 April 2022 01752 267222


  • Nottingham Theatre Royal 

05 April – 09 April 2022 0115 989 5555


  • Coventry Belgrade Theatre

12 April – 16 April 2022 024 7655 3055


  • Blackpool Grand Theatre 

19 April – 23 April 2022 01253 290 190


  • Liverpool Playhouse

26 April – 30 April 2022 0151 709 4776


  • Canterbury Marlowe Theatre 

03 May – 07 May 2022 01227 787787


  • Richmond Theatre

10 May – 14 May 0844 871 7615


  • Wolverhampton Grand Theatre 

17 May – 21 May 2022 01902 42 92 12


  • Bromley Churchill Theatre

24 May – 28 May 2022 020 3285 6000

Ariel Company Theatre Triumphs Back on Stage

Ariel Company Theatre Triumphs Back on Stage

All photos: Stephen Candy

By R. Huntingdon

In a year, or two, that has had a significant impact on the industry, I took my seat with excited trepidation, after what seemed an age since I had enjoyed any live entertainment. The front cover of the programme shares ‘Welcome back to Junior Musicality 2021’, and I am reminded that the children and young adults about to enter on stage have not performed to an audience since early 2020. If I felt nervous for them, they must be feeling it tenfold.

But, by goodness you would not have known it! The 70+ cast hit us with a bang, in perfect harmony, for the Newsies opening medley, strong, confident and ready to show the audience what we had all been longing for, pure musical theatre indulgence. As the first act progressed, I had to pinch myself to remind me this was not a show, rehearsed and fine tuned for months. The cast, aged between 8 and 18 years old, had put this together in just five days and credit must go to all of the performers and production team for the high standards achieved.

With over 33 brilliant, fully harmonised and choreographed numbers, it would simply be too difficult to cover all of them, but particular highlights include 38 Planes from Come from AwayRight Hand Man from Something RottenMy New Philosophy from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Run Freedom Run from Urinetown. The younger performers impressed with their energy and precise moves in Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins and had the house roaring with laughter with their brilliant characterisation in Life’s a Happy Song from The Muppets. I try to avoid picking out individuals, as every performer contributed so well, however I am compelled to mention Lara Nunns for her beautifully sung and played So Big/So Small from Dear Evan Hansen and Sophie Williams’ With You from Ghost. Both of which had me in tears. This was remedied by the hilarious characterisation of Noah Dawson as Beetlejuice in That Beautiful Sound and the whole cast in their foot tapping, life affirming rendition of the Rocketman finale, which sent us away joyous and ready to watch it all over again.

Sadly, I’ll have to wait for the next Ariel production but, at last, it might be something we don’t have to wait quite so long for again.

An outstanding job by all involved, thank you for sharing it with me.