Get to know Black Beauty: The Play

9th February 2017


Saddle up and gallop headlong into this quirky re-telling of a classic. Blending storytelling and music, there’s lots of fun and adventure in this brand new show that's sure to warm your heart. But before the show canters its way to us on Sat 18 Feb, here's ten fun facts about the book and the new production.

1. Written in 1877 by Anna Sewell, and with over 50 million copies sold, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time.

2. Did you know Black Beauty isn’t the full title? It's Black Beauty, his grooms and companions; the autobiography of a horse,Translated from the original equine by Anna Sewell

3. Giving an insight into emotions and feelings of horses, the book also revolutionised animal rights. One of the main themes in the play.

4. The phrase 'straight from the horse's mouth' originates from horse racing circles and indicates a trustworthy and authoritative source. 

5. While titled the same, the play centres around down on their luck brothers. Having trouble finding work, they end up having to sell their personal possessions. Therefore, rediscovering their beloved mother's copy of the family's favourite story - Black Beauty. Meet Andy and Andy McCuddy here.

6. You might recognise the two Andy's. Andy Cannon performed recently in Tales of a Grandson. While Andy Manley featured in the ever so popular White. 

7. The set designer, Shona Reppe, had a horse called Haggis – who was black, but fat and slow and ate everything.

8. Inspiration for the setting was taken from Steptoe and Son, Only Fools and Horses, Caravan of the Year, Horse of the Year, gypsy caravans, faded music halls and the Olympics.

9. Andy Manley's favourite horse joke is - A horse walks into a bar. The barman says "hey". The horse says "sure thanks".

10. Like the book, the play is not necessarily meant for young people. Exploring themes of courage, hope and resilience in difficult times, sibling relationships and friendships, and that while there will be bad days, there will also be good days. 

Funny, heartfelt and about a horse, Black Beauty is entertaining for all ages, you’d be a foal to miss it!

Watch the trailer here.



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