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TV favourite comes alive on stage as if by magic

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

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A favourite children's television character comes to life on stage in the Tall Stories production of The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn – the family show that's running over the festive period at Exeter's Northcott Theatre.

Mr Benn first captivated audiences over 40 years ago when David McKee turned his series of picture books into an animated television series. Only 14 episodes were made back in the 1970s, but for an entire generation Mr Benn made an immediate impact – an impact the series' voiceover artist, Ray Brooks, didn't think possible.

"I don't think Dave McKee and I even had an inkling of how successful it would be. How could we?" he said.

The basic story goes like this: one ordinary day, Mr Benn receives an invitation to a fancy dress party – and comes across an extraordinary shop.

As if by magic, the shopkeeper appears with an array of costumes, and shows him into the dressing room.

Inside there is a mysterious door that leads Mr Benn into incredible adventures, full of dragons, princesses and sea monsters... Can Mr Benn ever go back to his ordinary life?

Tall Stories – the team behind The stage version of The Gruffalo – embellish the Mr Benn plot with catchy songs and astounding magic to capture the imaginations of all ages.

Four professional artists have been working with Devon primary schools under the Daisi umbrella to create an exhibition of visual arts to accompany the production.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn runs at the Northcott, Exeter from December 11 to January 4. There are opportunities to meet the cast at some shows and a special 'relaxed' performance on Friday, January 3.

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