Voyages of Discovery on Tour
The Trust’s Voyages of Discovery display went on tour from January – May, 2012, courtesy of the Children’s Touring Partnership and host regional theatres, accompanying the Swallows and Amazons musical.
This display provided a brief introduction to Arthur Ransome’s life, interests and work. It also focused on Swallows and Amazons, his best-known novel, and on the eleven other titles in his Swallows and Amazons series.
The Musical itself received widespread critical and audience acclaim during its tour. It was organised by the Children’s Touring Partnership, itself a collaboration between leading independent producer, Fiery Angel, Chichester Festival Theatre and a consortium of major regional theatres.
The Partnership was founded to tour imaginative and bold theatre of the highest quality, with an emphasis on productions for children aged eight years and above. It aims to link theatre to education through a variety of events, workshops and talks.
Swallows and Amazons was the Partnership’s second nationwide tour, following their highly-acclaimed production of Goodnight Mr Tom. The nationwide tour began in January, 2012, following a five-week run at the Vaudeville Theatre, in London’s West End. The London production was organised in partnership with the National Theatre, who originally commissioned the Musical, and who had sponsored much of its early development.
Swallows and Amazons was first produced by the Bristol Old Vic in December, 2010. It was directed by Tom Morris (who also directed Warhorse), with a book by Helen Edmundson (who wrote the highly-acclaimed Corram Boy), and music and lyrics by Neil Hannon (best known for the Divine Comedy). Tom Morris is returning for the new production, as are Akiya Henry (Titty), Stewart Wright (Roger) and Celia Adams (Nancy).
The full tour included: the Vaudeville; Chichester Festival Theatre; Festival Theatre, Edinburgh; Theatre Royal, Nottingham; Belgrade Theatre, Coventry; Wycombe Swan Theatre, High Wycombe; Malvern Festival Theatre; Civic Theatre, Darlington; Theatre Royal, Norwich; West Yorkshire Playhouse; Liverpool Playhouse; Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield; Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton; Theatre Royal, Plymouth; Grand Theatre, Blackpool, and the New Theatre, Cardiff.
The Bristol Old Vic had kindly hosted our first Voyages of Discovery display over Christmas, 2010. So we were very grateful for the opportunity to send a modified version of Voyages of Discovery on tour with the Musical. We hope it proved both informative and interesting.