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A Monster Calls - rehearsal images released

Casting news

IMAGES have been released of the cast rehearsing A Monster Calls. To view them, click here.

Previously Posted: The Old Vic and Bristol Old Vic have announced full casting for the world premiere of visionary director Sally Cookson’s powerful new adaptation of Patrick Ness’ piercing novel A Monster Calls, which runs at Bristol Old Vic from May 31 to June 16 and at The Old Vic from July 7 to August 25, 2018.

The line up includes Hammed Animashaun (as Anton), Nandi Bhebhe (Teacher), Selina Cadell (Grandmother), Matt Costain (ensemble), Georgia Frost (Sully), Stuart Goodwin (Monster), Felix Hayes (Dad), Jonathan Holby (swing), John Leader (Harry), Marianne Oldham (Mum), Matthew Tennyson (Conor) and Witney White (Lily).

Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?

Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved to America. But now his mum’s very sick and she’s not getting any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school won’t look him in the eye.

Then, one night, at seven minutes past midnight, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears.

On publication, A Monster Calls became a bestseller with children and adults alike with its dazzling insight into love, loss and healing. It garnered huge critical acclaim, including an unprecedented double win of the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for outstanding children’s literature and illustration. This adaptation is suitable for ages 10+.

Sally Cookson, Director, said: “The prospect of adapting Patrick Ness’ beautiful book is a tantalising one and I am chomping at the bit to get started. The story of thirteen-year-old Conor lost in a mire of anxiety and fear strikes a chord with anyone who’s been threatened with losing someone they love. The combination of gritty realism and magic make it perfect material for theatre – I love a challenge and the big question will be ‘How are they going to create a Tree Monster on stage?’ Come and find out!”

Patrick Ness, Writer, said: “A Monster Calls has always been a collaboration, in all its forms. I like to say I took the baton from the late, great Siobhan Dowd, then handed it on to our illustrator Jim Kay, and what came out was something bigger than anything the three of us could have done by ourselves. I’m now so excited to hand that baton on to the amazing Sally Cookson. She’s assembled an outstanding company. What a treat this is going to be!”

A Monster Calls has set design by Michael Vale, costume design by Katie Sykes, lighting by Aideen Malone, sound by Mike Beer, projection by Dick Straker, casting by Jessica Ronane CDG, movement by Dan Canham, puppetry by Laura Cubitt and aerial by Matt Costain. Composer is Benji Bower and associate director is Miranda Cromwell.

For more information or to book tickets, call The Old Vic box office on 0844 871 7628 or visit

The stage adaptation of legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman’s masterpiece Fanny & Alexander, starring Penelope Wilton, continues at The Old Vic until April 14. It is followed – from April 21 to June 16, 2018 – by the world premiere of Joe Penhall’s new play Mood Music.