Saturday, June 10

Factory International to premiere stage adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ award-winning children’s book, Lost and Found

Children and families are invited to experience the world premiere stage adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ award-winning children’s book, Lost and Found (Nestlé Smarties Book Prize 2005, Blue Peter Book Award 2006) as part of Factory International’s opening season at their flagship new venue in Manchester.

Adapted and directed by BAFTA award-winning director Will Brenton (CBeebies, Coronation Street), the show will premiere on Friday 15th December this year and run until Saturday 6th January 2024.

Lost and Found is a heart-warming, magical story of friendship and loneliness, following the journey of a little boy who one day finds a penguin on his doorstep. The official adaptation of the much-loved story will take to the stage for the very first time in Manchester.

The show is produced by Factory International and will feature an original soundtrack from musician and composer Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals, Neon Neon).

The stunning simplicity of Jeffers’ illustrative style will be captured in the water colour washes of the stage set and costume design that will blend puppetry and performance. The puppets are designed by puppeteer and puppetry director Olly Taylor, who has captured Jeffers’ iconic style in his creative process.

Director, Will Brenton said: “Lost and Found is a beautiful story simply told. Oliver’s work tells and shows us only what we need to see, and by doing so creates innumerable personal versions of the tale for each person who reads it. I wanted to take that clarity and simplicity and bring it to the stage in a way that keeps the purity of the story and allows each person to make it their own.

For me, this story is not just about a Penguin who is far from home, but someone searching for something that is missing in their life.

Together with Factory International, bringing this show to their new venue is very exciting. I remember working in the old Granada offices when I was a director on Coronation Street, and to be a part of the re-invention of this site and at the beginning of what I know will be a thrilling new journey is a genuine honor.”

Oliver Jeffers, Author of the children’s book said: “I can’t wait to see the book be brought to life onstage by Will Brenton and Gruff Rhys. It’s set to be a really enjoyable show for children and families”.

John McGrath, Artistic Director at Factory International said: “We are delighted to welcome children and families to the venue for the world premiere stage adaptation of a much-loved story. Will Brenton has captured the beauty and simplicity of Jeffers’ iconic illustrative style in a way that truly brings the book to life before the audience’s eyes.  

After directing The Tale of Mr Tumble for MIF15, we are thrilled to work with Will again to bring a performance commissioned specifically for our youngest audience members to the venue for the very first time.

We’re also excited to be working with Gruff Rhys, a legendary musician, composer and producer whose unique and experimental style perfectly captures the fun and emotion of the story”.

Tickets for Lost and Found will be available for Factory International members on Wednesday 24th May and to the general public on Friday 26th May at:  

Programmed and operated by Factory International, the team behind the world-renowned Manchester International Festival, Manchester’s landmark new venue will host a year-round programme of original creative work, music and special events by some of the world’s leading artists. Its development is the largest investment in a national cultural project since the opening of Tate Modern in 2000, thanks to initial HM Government investment and backing from Manchester City Council and Arts Council England.

Audiences will be invited to preview the trailblazing new cultural space during this year’s Manchester International Festival (29 June 2023 – 16 July). The venue’s official opening will be in October with the production Free Your Mind, a large-scale immersive performance based on The Matrix films created by Danny Boyle, Es Devlin and the co-founders of Olivier Award-winning Boy Blue.