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A reading list! Fiction turned into sensational shows

We’re celebrating all things literary with these exciting book-based shows!


  • Drama
  • Entertainment

Love getting lost in a good book? Love coming to the theatre? Then you are going to love these shows based on some of the best literary classics, fantastic novels and best-selling authors.  

Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy  

The classic epic tale telling the tragic life of Tess Durbeyfield is one of Thomas Hardy’s best-known novels. Sparking controversy and even being banned by the British government, his story of Tess’ disasters in love and her tear-wrenching experiences with death and efforts to grow into a ‘proper’ woman remains one of the most moving and poetic of Hardy’s novels today. In Ockham Razor’s Tess an ensemble of performers weaves together Hardy’s words and the extreme physicality of the circus to tell this tale. 

Catch the show:Ockham’s Razor: Tess – 21 & 22 May 24 – Norwich Theatre Royal 

Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie 

A gripping drama of undoubtedly one of Agatha Christie’s greatest mystery novels. Our favourite Belgian Detective, Hercule Poirot, must identify the murderer on the Orient Express, which is stuck dead in the snow. The novel is full of suspense and, oh, the twist—need we say more? 

Catch the show:Murder on the Orient Express – 17 – 21 Sep 24 – Norwich Theatre Royal 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, Ian Fleming 

Ian Fleming, the creator of 007 James Bond, invented Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for his young son Caspar, and it went on to become the most famous and best-loved car in fiction. Who wouldn’t want to ride in a flying car? Don’t miss this brand new musical featuring all the unforgettable songs, including Toot Sweets, Truly Scrumptious and, of course, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 

Catch the show: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – 24 – 29 Sep 24 – Norwich Theatre Royal 

Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks 

Sebastian Faulks’ story of love and war is tragic and beautiful in equal measure. It returns to the stage, marking the 30th anniversary of the international best-selling novel. Over the course of the drama, young Englishman Stephen Wraysford suffers a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears a family apart to the unprecedented experiences of the First World War. This is a mesmerising story of love and courage. 

Catch the show: Birdsong – 12 – 16 Nov 24 – Norwich Theatre Royal 

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens 

A timeless festive classic, A Christmas Carol is the iconic story of an elderly miser who is visited by a series of ghosts and spirits, encouraging him to change his ways. Northern Ballet reimagines Dickens’ timeless tale through dance, music and storytelling. This heartwarming story is a must for a Christmas tradition. 

Catch the show: A Christmas Carol – 19 – 23 Nov 24 – Norwich Theatre Royal 

Pig Heart Boy, Malorie Blackman 

Malorie Blackman has written more than 70 books for children and young adults, including Pig Heart Boy, which was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. This brand-new drama adaptation by Children’s Theatre Partnership shows the life of a teenage boy, Cameron, who  desperately needs a heart transplant, and time is running out. When he’s finally offered a new heart, Cameron must choose how far he’ll go to get his life back. 

Catch the show: Pig Heart Boy – 23 – 26 Apr 25 – Norwich Theatre Royal 

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë 

Charlotte Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane Eyre is as inspiring as ever. The book uncovers one woman’s struggles with poverty, injustice, and the discovery of a bitter betrayal before she makes the ultimate decision to follow her heart. Gothic, dark, and romantic, it is a must-read! Northern Ballet’s brilliant dance brings this tale of romance, jealousy and dark secrets to life. 

Catch the show: Jane Eyre – 20 – 24 May 25 – Norwich Theatre Royal 

A whole show about books? … Count us in! 

Professor David Wilson and Marcel Theroux: Killer Books (1 Oct 24) at Norwich Theatre Playhouse explores why some novels inspired people to commit murder. The pair combine their professional backgrounds to discuss books that have motivated murder and how fiction can sometimes become fact.