What: An Elephant in the Garden // Where: Tobacco Factory // When: Tues 04 – Sat 15 Nov (7.30pm) // Cost: £10/8 conc.
If the recent film adaptation of Yann Martel’s “Life Of Pi” was anything to go by, fantastical tales of metaphorical zoo animals are very much to the taste of modern audiences. So Simon Reade’s new adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling children’s novel An Elephant in the Garden at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory is sure to be popular.
1945. Dresden, Germany. Lizzie, her mother – and an elephant from the zoo, flee the Allied fire-bombing in the end-game of the Second World War.
Escaping the Allies’ advance from the West – and also the advancing Russian armies from the East – this extraordinary trio of refugees meet: a downed RAF officer, cowering in a barn; a homeless school choir on the run and their Countess saviour, harbouring them from the Nazis; and the mechanised American cavalry, appearing over the horizon.
It is Lizzie’s story – but Marlene, the elephant, is the heroine. Plodding, obdurate, opportunistic, load-bearing, indestructible, cheering – Marlene embodies the stubbornness of the human will and how it will do everything to survive.
Previous Reade / Morpurgo collaborations include Toro! Toro!, The Mozart Question and Private Peaceful. Alison Reid has worked at the RSC, Bristol Old Vic and National Theatre and performs in The Mozart Question.
Find out more by clicking here.By Kevin McGough
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