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Brilliant - The Dinosaur, a Richard Stilgoe/Bernard Cribbins collaboration

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE Ministry of Entertainment Limited has announced the world premiere of Brilliant – The Dinosaur, a new musical for children, with words and music by Richard Stilgoe, narrated by Bernard Cribbins.

Brilliant – The Dinosaur will tour to all major cities and towns across the UK, commencing spring 2015.

In the not-too-distant future, a freak hurricane hits a small town on the south coast of England. Leaving behind a trail of destruction, the storm opens up a cave in a cliff, revealing a reptile, which has been rudely awakened from her 65 million year hibernation.

The Banks children discover her and help her hide from the adults, but as most children know, concealing a 30 metre long dinosaur is not an easy job!

Richard Stilgoe is best known for being involved in the writing of the books and/or writing lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s productions of Cats, Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera; as well as his regular appearances on C4’s Countdown.

Sir Richard Stilgoe said: “The choice of subject for a children’s musical was easy. I asked lots of children what I should write about, and every single one of them said ‘dinosaurs’. I don’t know why children are fascinated by dinosaurs – perhaps it’s because they are large and exciting but safely extinct”.

Brilliant – The Dinosaur will be narrated by Bernard Cribbins, known to generations of children for his numerous appearances on BBC TV’s Jackanory and for his BAFTA-nominated performance as Mr Perks – the station porter in the original movie of EM Nesbitt’s The Railway Children; as Wilfred Mott opposite David Tennant in Dr Who; and as the voice of The Wombles.

In 2009, he received a Special Award from BAFTA at the EA Academy Children’s Awards for his outstanding creative contribution to the industry. He is synonymous with quality traditional entertainment for children in a career spanning six decades.

Bernard Cribbins added: “I think it’s vital that we get the next generation of children and young families into our theatres and I am thrilled to be part of this project.”

Over 60 local schoolchildren will take part in each performance of Brilliant – The Dinosaur and the production will play twice daily to family audiences throughout the country.