NEWS: Live theatre meets animation in a brand new family show based on a best-selling Michael Foreman book

One man’s passionate dream to reach the stars leaves the world in ruins. Can the dinosaurs sleeping deep under its surface wake and save Planet Earth?

Michael Foreman’s classic picture book about space travel, dinosaurs, and ecological balance gets a thrilling new lease of life in this free online theatre production for young children and their families. Commissioned by Watermans, adapted by Roustabout (Luna, The Great Big Story Mix Up) and performed by Robin Hemmings (Oi, Frog; Luna; One Small Step) and Shaelee Rooke (Luna; One Small Step; This is Where We Live), this three part series is a glorious mix of theatre and animation with song, puppetry, and digital wizardry, set amongst the book’s beautiful original illustrations. Featuring an important environmental message, Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish is a highly inventive and charmingly funny theatrical adaptation and a perfect online treat for all ages. 

When I wrote, and illustrated, Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish in 1972, it was because of the growing threat to the environment. I never imagined the book would be even more relevant fifty years later, and I am delighted that Toby Hulse and Roustabout are bringing it to a wider audience.

Michael Foreman, author

Roustabout have had a lot of practice creating new engaging ways for audiences to connect with theatre over the last year. Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish is a cross media mash up which is not just exciting technically and artistically, it also reflects the way young children tell their own stories today. With the use of puppetry, music, narration, dance and live action the book is brought as close to real pandemic life as possible and is accessible for all.

Shaelee Rooke and Robin Hemmings

Since the first lockdown, Roustabout has been pioneering new ways to tell stories online, that are every bit as theatrical as a traditional production. I have loved this book since I was young, read it to my own children, and shared it with many pupils in schools. I am thrilled that, with the support of Watermans, we are able to share this wonderful tale in a whole new way with families across the world.”

Toby Hulse, director

This is the third of Michael Foreman’s books that Roustabout have adapted (previously The Amazing Tale of Ali Pasha for The Story Museum, Oxford and War Game for Bristol Old Vic) and they are thrilled that he gives them full trust and support in bringing his stories to life.

On the cusp of the book’s 50th anniversary, there will be a lot of parents and grandparents out there who have been enjoying this story for years. Both Roustabout and Watermans hope that the show will spark intergenerational conversations about how we can protect the planet.  The environment is one of the biggest issues facing us today. But how do we engage young children with this subject in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming and makes them feel empowered to act?

Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish will premiere on YouTube on Wednesday 7 April and will be available to watch for at free for 6 months.