Enid Blyton favourite Malory Towers brought to the stage - director says 'this is for my mum'. How to get tickets

Emma Rice
Emma Rice

Children's favourite Malory Towers by Enid Blyton is being brought to the stage.

It is being produced by Emma Rice’s Wise Children company and is on at York Theatre Royal, which is co-producing the show in association with Bristol Old Vic, from Tuesday September 10 to Saturday September 14.

Nostalgic, naughty and perfect for now, Malory Towers is the original ‘Girl Power’ story. Join Wise Children for high jinks, high drama and high spirits, all set to sensational live music and animation.

Darrell Rivers is starting school with an eager mind and fierce heart. Unfortunately she also has a quick temper! Can she learn to tolerate the infuriating Gwendoline Lacey, or value the kind hearted Sally Hope? Can she save the school play and rescue terrified Mary Lou from the grip of a raging storm? If she can do these things anywhere, she will do them at Malory Towers!

Adapted and directed by Emma Rice this is a show for girls, boys, and all us grown up children who still dream of midnight feasts and Cornish clifftops.

“I’ve always been drawn to the years that followed the Second World War. It’s a time that feels close enough to touch, as I vividly remember my grandparents and how the war affected their lives," said Emma.

"My Mum’s parents - poor and largely uneducated - decided that their children would have access to all the things that they hadn’t. I don’t know how they managed it on a railway worker’s pay, but my mother was sent to a remote grammar school in Dorset: Lord Digby’s School for Girls.

“While not a boarding school, Lord Digby's was an extraordinary place of learning that changed my mother’s, and by extension my own, life. The tendrils of passion and education that Lord Digby’s stood for reach out across 60 years and more. They reached out over my inner city comprehensive education and have shaped my own beliefs and choices to this day.

“My adaptation of Malory Towers is dedicated to the generation of women who taught in schools in that period. With lives shaped by the savagery of two wars, these teachers devoted themselves to the education and nurture of other women.

"It is also for the two generations of men that died in those same wars, leaving us with the freedom to lead meaningful, safe and empowered lives. And it is for Clement Attlee and his Labour government of 1945 who looked into the face of evil and chose to do what was right. These people changed the political landscape in their focus on care, compassion and the common good.

“Malory Towers was written at the heart of this political revolution, and embodies a kindness, hope and love of life that knocks my socks off. 'Long live our appetites and may our shadows never grow less!’ the girls cry.

“My mother wrote to her teachers at Lord Digby’s until they died and is still friends with many of the girls she met there. And when I see my mum, born into the poorest of rural backgrounds, enjoying Dickens and Almodovar and speaking French to her childhood pen-friend, I am stopped in my tracks. She went on to dedicate her life to the NHS and the helping of others whilst never losing her appetite for life, culture and hope. I salute her, and I cheer the education that threw this mind and soul into the air and said, “be a woman that the world can lean on”.

“So that’s why I am making Malory Towers, with gratitude, hope and sheer pleasure! I call it my ‘Happy Lord of the Flies’ and it is joyfully radical to its bones. Imagine a world where (left to their own devices), people choose kindness. Imagine a world where difference is respected and arguments resolved with thought and care. Imagine a world that chooses community, friendship and fun. Now that’s a world I want to live in and, at Malory Towers, you can.”

Tickets: 01904 623568 or https://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/