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What The Ladybird Heard at two London venues

Julia Donaldson and the cast of What The Ladybird Heard. Photo credit: Robert Workman.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

BASED on the award-winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, a new stage adaptation of What the Ladybird Heard will visit Richmond Theatre (July 3 to July 6) and Cadogan Hall (July 24 to August 10, 2014) as part of a UK and international tour.

Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they reckon without the tiniest, quietest creature of all: The Ladybird, who has a plan of her own!

Join the woolly sheep, the hairy hog, the fat red hen and the dainty dog as they take on the villains and win, in this colourful farmyard adventure. With live instrumental music, original songs, rhyming and repetition, this production is the perfect family treat and at 55 minutes is the ideal introduction to theatre for pre and primary school children.

The cast comprises Rosamund Hine (as Jo), Rachael Henley (Lily), Matt Bateman (Hefty Hugh), Matt Jopling (Lanky Len) and David Shute (Understudy).

What the Ladybird Heard is produced by Kenny Wax (Top Hat the Musical) in association with Matthew Gregory, and is adapted for the stage and directed by Graham Hubbard.

Original composition and sound design are by Jon Fiber and Andy Shaw (The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom) for Shock Productions, design is by Bek Palmer (with award-winning book illustrator Lydia Monks as design consultant for the production) and lighting is by Rick Mountjoy.

Julia Donaldson is the prize-winning author of some of the world’s best-loved children’s books. Her first picture book, A Squash and A Squeeze, was published over twenty years ago, and since then she has written over 160 books, including The Gruffalo, The Snail and the Whale, The Stick Man and Room on the Broom.

Donaldson also writes fiction, including the Princess Mirror-Belle series illustrated by Lydia Monks, as well as poems, plays and songs – and her brilliant live shows are always in demand. She was the 2011-2013 UK Children’s Laureate, has an MBE from the Queen and you can even find a painting of her in The National Portrait Gallery in London.

Lydia Monks is an award-winning author and illustrator, best known for her quirky and colourful picture books. As well as What the Ladybird Heard and The Princess Mirror-Belle fiction titles, she has collaborated with Julia Donaldson on The Singing Mermaid and most recently Sugarlump and the Unicorn.

What the Ladybird Heard is recommended for families with children aged 3+.

Tickets: For Richmond Theatre call 0844 871 7651 or visit and for Cadogan Hall call 020 7730 4500 or visit

The tour will also visit Bahrain, Manchester, Darlington, St Albans, Exeter, Chelmsford, Billingham, Inverness, Guildford, Derry, Limerick, Galway, Hamilton, the Glastonbury Festival (June 26 – 29), Torquay, Crawley, Basingstoke, Hayes, Halifax, Swansea, Canterbury, Bristol, Aylesbury, Hull, Salford, Glasgow, Swindon, Southend, Cardiff, Stafford and Hereford.