Carol Ann Duffy writes festive show

Carol Ann Duffy Carol Ann Duffy hosts a regular night with new poets at the Royal Exchange

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy is to write her own versions of age-old fairytales for a new family stage show this Christmas.

Duffy will adapt stories including The Pied Piper of Hamelin for the production, titled Rats' Tales, at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester.

The Royal Exchange said it was a "real landmark" for the theatre, where Duffy also hosts regular poetry nights.

Duffy won the Costa poetry prize in January for her collection The Bees.

Rats' Tales will include the writer's take on such stories as the English folk tale Tattercoats, about a girl cast out by her aristocratic grandfather, and The Grimm Brothers' Clever Gretel, about a devious cook.

Her stories will be dramatised and directed by Melly Still, who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

"We've had a tremendous relationship with Carol Ann," a spokesman for the Royal Exchange said.

"In recent years, she has been doing regular events with local poets and she promises that Rats' Tales will be a transformative and immersive event for adults and children alike."

Rats' Tales will run from 29 November to 12 January. It follows a similar collaboration between Duffy and Still, Beasts and Beauties, which was first seen in Bristol in 2004.

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