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09 February 2004 1647 GMT
The Nightingale by Hans Christian Anderson
Picture: Laura Hayes and Derek Elwood
Laura Hayes and Derek Elwood star in Nightingale

An emperor locked in his porcelain palace is awoken to the outside world by the sound of sweet birdsong.

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Tiebreak Theatre Company

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The Nightingale, by Danish fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen, is the latest production from the Norfolk based Tiebreak Theatre Company.

This new show, for four to eight year olds, is filled with colour, action and of course, music.

The story

An emperor locked away deep in his precious porcelain palace and surrounded by bumbling courtiers, believes himself to be the wisest man in all of China.

Not until he hears the Nightingale's enchanting song of freedom does he realise there is more to life.

Enthralled, he tries to cage her, but she escapes, returning to him only in his hour of greatest need.

The company

The spring tour of The Nightingale, comes hot on the heels of the success of Tiebreak's first visit to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2003.

Picture: Laura Hayes and Derek Elwood
The emperor's cook and kitchen maid

The show can be seen at the Sheringham Little Theatre, the Norwich Playhouse and at schools across Norfolk until the end of March.

The inventive trademark of artistic director David Farmer has preserved the charms of Andersen's much-loved tale, told in the show by the emperor's cook and kitchen maid whilst they prepare some very strange food indeed for their master.

"Although we all know the stories of Hans Christian Andersen, his work is rarely produced as theatre," said David Farmer.

"Our take on The Nightingale offers children the charm of the original story combined with plenty of the comic and highly visual style of performance that Tiebreak is renowned for," he added.

Founded in 1981, Tiebreak has performed to more than 375,000 young people and adults throughout the UK and beyond.

To many schools in East Anglia, the shows have become a regular treat and offers many children their first opportunity to experience live performance.

Performance times

The Nightingale can be seen at the Sheringham Little Theatre at 2.30pm on Saturday 6 March. Telephone 01263 822347.

There is also a performance at the Norwich Playhouse on Tuesday 16 March at 5pm. Call the box office on 01603 598598.

Picture credit: David Gutteridge


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