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From Page to Stage! Norwich Theatre Celebrates World Book Day

Become inspired by upcoming theatre shows this World Book Day! From Pride and Prejudice (Sort Of) to Shrek: The Musical, read on to see what last-minute costume tips we have!


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World Book Day is a celebration of storytelling and creativity, encouraging children to experience being transported to another magical world of stories. 

At Norwich Theatre, we are proud to host fantastic book adaptations to inspire children’s imagination and encourage them to engage with and tell stories. So, read on to see what is on offer or get inspiration for that dressing up costume! 

1. Unexpected Twist | 28 Mar – 1 Apr | Royal 

An Oliver-Twisted tale based on the book by Michael Rosen. Shona and her class are studying the book Oliver Twist. She’s the new girl in school and is finding it hard to stay out of trouble – much like Oliver himself!  

When a stranger gives her a new phone, she begins to suspect there’s something unusual about the new boys she’s met. This fast-paced show features beatboxing, rap and an RnB score that will have you bopping for days. 

Costume tips: You could either go as Shona or Oliver Twist. For Oliver, a flat cap and ragged clothes are a must. 

2. Wind in the Willows | 4 Apr | Stage Two 

The children’s classic by Kenneth Grahame has been transformed into a stage show with wonderful puppetry and a charming score. Join Mole and Ratty on their marvellous adventures, along with gruff old Badger and magnificent Mr Toad.  

Costume tips: All of these characters would be fun to dress up as! Mr Toad requires a suit (we recommend a waistcoat), don’t forget a scarf and some driving goggles, you could use ones from swimming. 

3. Gulliver | 4 Apr | Stage Two 

The fictional travelogue written by Jonathan Swift is transformed by Box Tail Soup’s trademark style, unique puppetry and stunning original music. This breathtaking show tells Gulliver’s tales of lands undiscovered and creatures unheard of. 

Costume tips: Be giant wearing a waistcoat, shirt and boots. You will also need tiny people to emphasise size. Lego or Play Mobil people would be perfect for this. 

4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical | 19 – 29 Apr | Royal 

Escape to a world of pure imagination with Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical. Join Charlie Bucket as he enters the Wonka Chocolate Factory and into the extraordinary mind of the chocolatier Willy Wonka. Featuring memorable songs from the original 1970s motion picture, including The Candy Man and Pure Imagination as well as amazing new numbers, this will be the perfect sweet treat for the whole family. 

Costume tips: For Verruca Salt, put on your best party dress and a fur jacket. You might want to pair this with a Wonka Bar.   

5. The Smeds and The Smoos | 4 – 7 May | Playhouse 

Soar into space with this exciting adaptation of the award-winning book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. This is a joyful tale of star-crossed aliens who can’t be friends. So when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love and zoom off into space together, how will their families get them back? This interplanetary adventure is perfect for everyone aged three and up! 

Costumes tips: To be a Smed, you will need to wear all red. A Smoo is all blue. Wear a hat with a matching colour with some pipe cleaners for antennae.  

6. Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort of) | 19 – 24 Jun | Royal 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that we adore Jane Austen’s iconic love story! This latest irreverent adaptation audaciously retells the story of romance. Men, money and microphones will be fought over. Let the ruthless matchmaking begin. 

Costumes tips: This one is tricky but doable. You will need a nightie, bonnet, or shower cap (but you could go with a feather in your hair). For extra panache, add a frilly umbrella.   

7. The Gruffalo’s Child | 15 – 26 Nov | Playhouse 

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are so good they are on the list twice!  

Follow the Gruffalo’s Child on her adventurous mission into the deep dark wood. Does the Big Bad Mouse exist? Find out with the Gruffalo’s child this Nov. 

Costume tips: Costume tips: To be a Gruffalo, why not try and make some ‘terrible claws’ or ‘terrible teeth’ in some ‘terrible jaws’? It might be easier to draw a poisonous wart at the end of your nose, or to add purple prickles all over the back of your brown outfit! 

Get ahead of the game and start thinking about World Book Day 2024 with these shows … 

8. The Wizard of Oz | 27 Feb – 3 Mar | Royal 

The iconic classic by Frank L. Baum about Dorothy and her dog Toto who is whisked by a tornado to the magical land OZ comes to Norwich Theatre Royal in 2024! Follow the yellow brick road to the road to Emerald City for an enchanting adventure.  

Costume tips: For Dorothy, you will need red shoes, a blue dress, and a basket with a toy dog for a fantastic look. 

9. Shrek the Musical | 26 Mar – 30 Mar | Royal 

Before Shrek became a film star, there was William Steig’s Shrek! Join the unlikely hero and his noble steed, Donkey, as they embark on a big, bright musical adventure. Featuring the beloved Princess Fiona, the evil Lord Farquaad, a host of magical fairy-tale characters, and fabulous songs, including the smash hit I’m a Believer, Shrek the Musical is a “musical extravaganza for big kids and little kids alike”. 

Costume tips: Shrek calls for green face paint! You will also need a white shirt, and brown trousers, add a rope belt. Finally, if you are feeling adventurous, make some ogre ears for a headband.