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When we heard that David Baddiel's best-selling kids book was being adapted to the stage, we couldn't resist a sneak preview.

Those crazy kooks at Story Pocket Theatre – you may have seen their award-winning Arabian Nights – have adapted Baddiel’s witty tale about a boy called Malcolm, and they’re kicking off a national tour with a run of shows at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford from June 14-18.

Six actors take on the roles of 35 characters – including 20 animals – for the show. It all sounds a bit mad, and it probably is. And we’ve got four tickets to give away – the competition deets are at the bottom of this post.

If you haven’t read Baddiel’s book, it tells the story of Malcolm who doesn’t like animals. The problem, though, is that Malcolm’s family love them – and his house is full of pets. Then his annual three-day school trip turns out to be a trip to a farm. You can see where this is going, right? Animals. And then more animals.

We collared some of the cast – Owen Jenkins, Grace Alexander-Scott, Shannon Rewcroft and Lucy Edge – and shot five quick questions their way.

Photo by Ian Kelsey Photography

So, six actors, 35 characters, 20 animals – it doesn’t quite add up – how many roles are you playing in AniMalcolm?

OWEN JENKINS: 4 animals and 3 humans

GRACE ALEXANDER-SCOTT: I play 7 roles, 8 if you include the child I play for 90 seconds!

SHANNON REWCROFT: Six, a three year old and an array of animals!



If you could turn into any animal, which would it be? And why?

OWEN: Dolphin – I’d love to explore the sea

GRACE: Some sort of migrating bird that can fly long distances. The flying would be very cool and you could easily get to different countries.

SHANNON: An owl. You’d get to fly, be really wise and turn your head 270 degrees, that would be a pretty cool party trick

LUCY: An Otter. They are beautiful, cute creatures, who are intelligent but also love to relax on their back, lazily on the river. Sounds a perfect life to me!

WILL:  I’d be a bird of prey so that I could fly over mountains

Photo by Ian Kelsey Photography

And which wouldn’t it be?

OWEN: I’d hate to be a slug!

GRACE: A wasp; nobody likes you and if they don’t know it’s you, your friends and family would squish you pretty sharpish.

SHANNON: A dung beetle, I wouldn’t fancy that.

LUCY: A spider. Everyone would think I’m ugly, and would try to kill me. I don’t like the idea of waiting all day for my food to come to me.

WILL: I think a mole or an earthworm, too claustrophobic living underground

Any pets? Names? Ages? Quirky story about your pet? Pet’s best trick?

OWEN: No current pets but I had a few when I was growing including a parrot called Perky who used to love hanging out in our living room.

GRACE: I don’t have any pets now but we had a dog when I was growing up called Sammy and my little brother had a hamster called Pippin. When I was about 17 I was left to look after him for week whilst they went away.  I left the cage open in the morning and came home to find he’d gone. Cue panicked phone calls to my friend who dutifully came around to spend the best part of 5 hours searching the house.  We located him under the floor boards of the bathroom and enticed him out with hamster treats…very stressful.  Never actually told my brother so….er…sorry Jack!

SHANNON: Unfortunately not! But I would love to get a rescue dog one day.

LUCY: We have a family dog called Poppy. She is a welsh border collie and is 8 years old. I have taught her a few tricks, the best being she rolls over and gives kisses.

WILL: No pets, but would love a dog one day, preferably a wired jack Russell called jumble who only likes me!

Photo by Ian Kelsey Photography

And last but not least, who’s your favourite children’s author.

OWEN: Has to be Roald Dahl. Love his books

GRACE: For a picture book Oliver Jeffers, ‘The Heart and the Bottle’ is my absolute favourite but he has many good ones that are so imaginative and funny with wonderful illustrations.  For books with a few more words I don’t think you can beat a bit of Roald Dahl and I don’t think David Baddiel is too bad either is he?!

SHANNON: Roald Dahl or Enid Blyton, I loved their books when I was a kid.

LUCY: Jaqueline Wilson. I read all her books when I was younger.

WILL: Philip Pullman (closely followed by David Baddiel!)

AniMalcolm is at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford from Thurs 14 – Sat 16 June.




***** This prize draw is now closed *****


It’s very easy to enter:

  1. GO to the Muddy Surrey Facebook page.
  2. LIKE and FOLLOW the page.
  3. LIKE the competition post pinned at the top and COMMENT with the animal you’d most like to be.

Simple as that – Go, Follow, Like, Comment – but you must do all or your entry won’t count.

  • If you’re not on Facebook email – with the word “AniMalcolm” in the subject line.

The competition ends at midday on Monday 4 June.

Competition T&Cs

  • Entrants must be 18 years and over.
  • The competition ends at midday on Monday 4 June.
  • Prize: tickets for a family of four to AniMalcolm at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on Thurs 14 June at 7pm.
  • No alternative prize will be offered and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or association with, Facebook. Facebook can’t be held liable for anything related to this promotion.


Find more ideas here

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