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Emil and the Detectives - National Theatre (Olivier)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

BOOKING is opening early for some November and December performances of Emil and the Detectives. Written by Erich Kästner and adapted by Carl Miller, it will open in the National’s Olivier Theatre on December 4 (previews from November 16) before continuing in repertoire until March 2014.

Join young Emil as he says goodbye to his mother, leaves his small town and sets off on a journey that will change his life. When his money is stolen on the train by a mysterious stranger, Emil thinks he’s lost everything. But as he starts tracking down the thief, he soon discovers that he’s not alone in the big city after all.

For this classic tale of a boy learning to rely on himself – and on his new friends – the Olivier stage transforms into 1920s Berlin: a place full of surprises and danger, where everything moves at the speed of your imagination.

The cast includes Naomi Frederick and Sue Wallace; the central characters of Emil and the Detectives will be played by 9-13 year olds, with a 50-strong ensemble of children recruited from local London boroughs, schools and youth theatres.

Naomi Fredrick’s recent theatre credits include The Winslow Boy (Old Vic), The Chair Plays (Lyric, Hammersmith), As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Brief Encounter (Cinema Haymarket). She has previously appeared at the National Theatre as Isabella in Measure for Measure, and in Mrs Affleck, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and The Mandate.

Emil and the Detectives will be directed by Bijan Sheibani, an Associate Director at the National Theatre, where his credits include The Kitchen, Our Class and the US touring production of War Horse.

Carl Miller was the Artistic Director of the Young People’s programme at the Royal Court Theatre from 1997 to 1999, and since 2002, has been the Literary Manager of the Unicorn Theatre. His plays and adaptations include White Suit, Ostrich Boys, The Three Musketeers and The London Eye Mystery.

Emil and the Detectives will be designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting design by Lucy Carter, movement direction by Aline David and sound design by Ian Dickinson.

During the run of Emil and the Detectives, there will be family friendly backstage tours, books and toys in the Bookshop and children’s menus in the cafés and restaurants.

Emil and the Detectives is suitable for everyone aged 7 and over.