Elephant walkabout trumpets play’s arrival in Northampton

Public appearance with Oona the elephant, the life-sized puppet from Michael Morpurgo's Running Wild NNL-170523-154411009
Public appearance with Oona the elephant, the life-sized puppet from Michael Morpurgo's Running Wild NNL-170523-154411009

Shoppers may have thought Tuesday’s warm weather brought out some tropical animals as an elephant wandered through Northampton.

Oona, a life-size puppet of an Indonesian elephant, was taken out by her puppeteers at lunchtime to meet the public in the town centre.

Oona is appearing in Running Wild on stage at the Royal & Derngate from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 May, as part of its first UK tour.

Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to life in this award-winning production, which has been described by critics as ‘inspiring’, ‘evocative, ‘imaginative’ and ‘life-affirming’.

Gareth Aled, one of the actor/puppeteers said: “The central character is a nine-year-old girl called Lily who, through various circumstances, ends up in Indonesia riding on the back of Oona on a beach. Then the tsunami hits.

“There’s a large variety of animal puppets including an orangutan, birds and fish all brought to life through the puppets.

“It’s a company that is genuinely a pleasure to perform with and hopefully the audience will be moved and engage with our story.”

Running Wild takes to the Derngate stage from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 May. Tickets are priced from £12.50 to £27. To check times or to book, call Box Office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.