Much-loved novel and film gets a theatrical adaptation

Bruno and Schmuel , played by Colby Mulgrew and Jabez Cheeseman
Bruno and Schmuel , played by Colby Mulgrew and Jabez Cheeseman

A dramatisation of John Boyne’s highly acclaimed and bestselling novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas will visit Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre from June 16 to 20.

The book, which is a KS3 level school text for 11 to 14-year-olds, has been adapted for stage by Angus Jackson.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is an emotive tale of an unlikely friendship between two innocent boys. Set during the Second World War, the story is seen through the eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and devastating consequences.

John Boyne’s 2006 novel has sold millions of copies around and has appeared on many bestseller lists including the New York Times where it reached number 1. It was made into a Miramax feature film which was released in 2008.

This play will be produced by The Children’s Touring Partnership, which is led by independent producer Fiery Angel, Chichester Festival Theatre and a consortium of major regional theatres.

There will be an extensive education programme accompanying the production and there are additional matinee performances in all venues to accommodate school parties.

Edward Snape from the Children’s Touring Partnership said: “After two years of development we are very excited by this new commission which will bring this extraordinary story to life on stage for the first time

Born in Dublin, John Boyne has published nine novels for adults, including his most recent, A History of Loneliness (2014). As well as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John has written three other novels for younger readers: Noah Barleywater Runs Away (2010), The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket (2012) and Stay Where You Are And Then Leave (2013).

The director is Joe Murphy, whose 2010 production Bunny won the Scotsman Fringe First Award following its premiere in Edinburgh and went on to tour the UK. His other theatre credits also include the critically acclaimed Incognito by Nick Payne and 2nd May Response Plays and The Boy on the Swing.In 2013/14 he was assistant director on Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the RSC at Stratford and the Aldwych Theatre in the West End. He was also resident director for the West End run of Ghost Stories.

The composer is Stephen Warbeck whose credits include the film Shakespeare in Love for which he won an Oscar.

Tickets are priced from £10 to £16.50 for adults and £10.25 & £12.75 for children. For more information and to book, call the Belgrade Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or visit www.belgrade.co.uk where tickets are cheaper.