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The Text Extract
The Mouse and his child
by Tamsin Oglesby
The Mouse and his Child by Tamsin
A clockwork mouse and his child are discarded by
children on Christmas Day. Lost and alone, they
desperately want to get back home to the toyshop.
The play is based on Russell Hoban's novel of the same
name. A children's tale of escape, the search for
freedom and reunited families was adapted for the stage
by Tamsin Oglesby.
The Mouse and His Child played in the Royal
Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon from 17
November 2012 to 12 January 2013 and was directed
by Paul Hunter
Interview with Playwright (Devisor)
What is the story?
It's about a clockwork mouse and his child who are bought
from a toy shop then discarded. They then embark on a
journey to return to the toy shop and in the process
discover who they are, and the worst and best that
humankind is capable of. Because, although it's about
clockwork creatures and animals it's fundamentally about
the human spirit.
What I think makes it so theatrical is that, very often in
books like Alice in Wonderland and Pinnochio, you have a
central character whose questions are internalised. This can
pose a problem dramatically. What makes this story so
brilliant is that it's about a mouse and his child, two halves
of the same character in a way, so the questions are
externalised and the relationship they go through actually is
the story too. We have a constant dialogue going between
our protagonists which is a theatrical gift.
Interview with Paul Hunter - Director
How would you sum up what people can expect if
they come to see Mouse and His Child?
A: As I said – it's a universal story. It's poignant and
profound and funny. It's absurd and exciting and magical
with something for all the family. The adults in the audience
definitely won't be sitting there looking at their watches
waiting to get a drink in at the interval!
Personally I don't see it as a kids show – I read an interview
with one of the founders of Pixar Films who was asked what
his target audience was for their films and he responded
'anybody who breathes'. That is what I want for this
I want it to be seen by a 7 year old with their 70 year old
grandparent and for both of them to enjoy it and get
something out of it.
A tale of escape
The search for
In the original production tramps were
used to facilitate or enhance the action ,
play music and change scenes
Mr and Mrs Crow
Mud Bittern (Bird)
Perform a section of the
text extract. Your
performance must last
no longer than 10 mins.
Each person must have a
minimum of 3 mins
exposure on stage. You
can work as an individual
or as part of a group 2-6
The director has asked
for another scene to be
written between scene 3
and 4. The scene
explores the journey
Frog, Bittern, Seal and
Prepare designs for the
extract. You must cover
any THREE of -
Stage / personal props
Make-up / masks