Elephant spotted Running Wild in Coventry city centre

Shoppers in Coventry city centre may have spotted an elephant wondering the streets on Wednesday in promotion of Running Wild, a new stage production coming to the Belgrade Theatre this February half-term!

The 3 metre-long elephant puppet, operated by a team of four highly skilled actors, was seen roaming around West Orchards Shopping Centre, the Lower Precinct and Belgrade Square turning heads of many passersby.

Oona the elephant is the star of a spectacular new stage production of Running Wild, adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo and based on a true story. Oona is just one of many incredible animal puppets that feature in the production, including orangutans and tigers, taking the audience on a thrilling adventure through the Indonesian rainforest.

Embarking on a UK wide tour in 2017, this exciting new family show for ages 6+ has been created by the team behind the smash-hit production of War Horse with puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié.

The story follows a young girl called Lily, whose family holiday to Indonesia takes a dramatic twist when a tsunami hits whilst she is taking an elephant ride along the beach. Oona and Lily escape deep in the jungle, miles from civilisation, where there is wonder, discovery and tree-top adventures with the orangutans. As thoughts turn to her mother left behind on the beach, wild tigers prowl, and hunger hits, Lilly must now learn to survive the rainforest…

Michael Morpurgo, the former children’s laureate and author of War Horse, was inspired by the real-life story of Amber Owen, who was on holiday in Phuket with her mother and stepfather in 2004, when she went on an elephant ride. When he read Amber’s story in the newspaper, Michael Morpurgo said it was the one bit of hope amid the destruction of the Boxing Day tsunami which hit South East Asia.

Originally produced by Regent’s Park Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre, this award-winning production, tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss and loyalty and of living for the moment. The production will work to support the Born Free Foundation’s global elephant conservation projects.

Running Wild plays at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre from Weds 22 to Sat 25 Feb. Tickets are available now by calling the Belgrade Theatre Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or book online at www.belgrade.co.uk

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