Southport Actor Brings a Magic and Poignant Show for Families to The Atkinson

Southport Actor Brings a Magic and Poignant Show for Families to The Atkinson

“Laughs, heartbreak, war, regeneration, scented breezes, sparkling wit and the best dog puppet ever. Perfect for children and grown-ups. Terrific.” – The Guardian


Puppet State Theatre Company with their mixture of comedy, puppetry and storytelling perform their beautiful family tale of The Man Who Planted Trees on Saturday 16 July at The Atkinson.


This multi-sensory theatrical adaptation of Jean Giono’s environmental classic tells the inspiring story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn, transforming a barren wasteland. As much a touching tale as it is a hilarious puppet show, The Man Who Planted Trees shows us the difference one man (and his dog!) can make to the world.


Richard Medrington, founded the theatre company in 2003. Southport born and raised, Richard wrote the weekly Pause for Thought  in the Southport Visitor before becoming a professional puppeteer in 1984.


In 2006 he teamed up with Conte and Cohen to develop this production. Aided by stage/office manager Elspeth Murray and administrator Jennifer Williams, the first three years of touring saw The Man Who Planted Trees performed more than 800 times in all corners of the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands, Bermuda, Malaysia, and the USA. Awards include the Eco Prize for Creativity, Total Theatre Award for Story Theatre, Victor Award for best show at the International Performing Arts for Youth Showcase in Cleveland, Ohio and Best Children’s Show at the Brighton Festival.


“We have performed this production over a thousand times in venues from tents on windswept hillsides, tiny village halls on remote Scottish islands to the Sydney Opera House. However, bringing the show to my hometown has long been a goal of mine, and I am really looking forward to finally performing at The Atkinson! ” says Puppet State’s Medrington.


“There is something about this story that seems to strike a chord wherever we go and for that reason – as well as the fact that we get to make up new bits all the time – we never tire of performing it.”


The story itself has an interesting history. Though it has been published in book form, it is more accurate to characterize it as a short story at just about 4,000 words. While it is the work he is best known for outside of his native France, Giono refused to accept any royalties for the story and granted free use to anyone who wanted to distribute or translate it. In a 1957 letter, Giono said, “The goal was to make trees likeable, or more specifically, make planting trees likeable (this has always been one of my fondest ideas). And if I judge based on the results, it seems to have been attained… It is one of my works of which I am most proud. It does not bring me a cent, and this is why it is able to achieve the goal for which it was written.”


The Man Who Planted Trees is a beautiful and heart-felt story for adults and children over 7 years. It can be seen on Saturday 16 July at 2.30pm and is followed by Plant Potting Fun, an activity for families that came to see the show to plant something of their own to take home and care for. This takes place at 3.30pm in the foyer. The activity is £1.50 per pot for people that did not see the show.


Tickets are £8 / £6 children / £24 family. To book please visit or call the Box Office on 01704 533 333.





The Man Who Planted Trees

Saturday 16 July


£8 / £6 children / £24 family

Plant Potting Fun



Free (for show attendees)/ £1.50

Hand in your tickets


Posted on 5 July 2016 under General news

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