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The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales

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A Bristol Old Vic and
Shakespeare's Globe co-production

Written and co-adapted by Joel Horwood
Directed and co-adapted by Emma Rice

Emma Rice's "exquisite" (Daily Telegraph) production comes to Bristol this Christmas following its critically acclaimed premiere at Shakespeare's Globe.

Struggling to keep warm on the freezing winter streets, our impoverished heroine begins to strike her dwindling stock of matches. Each match she strikes conjures a new story, and while it burns she escapes into an enchanting world of magic and mystery. Inspired by the beautiful Hans Christian Andersen tales, we follow her through the spell-binding stories of The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor's New Clothes and Thumbelina.

For adults and brave children alike this will be a truly remarkable theatre experience, full of music, laughter, puppetry and magic which asks us to consider the true meaning of Christmas spirit.

Theatre to snuggle down into on a frosty night"


An exquisite spell of a show...irreverent and funny."


A hilarious and heartbreaking collection of fairy tales."


The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales

30 Nov-14 Jan
7pm, 4pm, 2pm, 10am


Ages 8+
Running Time 1 hour 45 mins approx.

Show Content Haze, herbal e-cigarettes, flashing lights and loud noises.

Trigger Warning We do not wish to spoil anyone's experience of our shows by giving too much away in advance of opening night. It is often the unexpected themes and plot twists that capture the audience's imagination and create debate and conversation beyond the performance.

However, patrons are advised to note that this show contains content about domestic abuse and homelessness. Additionally, one character appears in a body suit, simulating nakedness as part of The Emperor's New Clothes. We are conscious that these themes may be distressing for certain individuals. If you are concerned and wish to speak to one of our team ahead of booking or before your planned visit, please call our Box Office on 0117 987 7877 or email

Creative Team
Writer and Co-Adaptor Joel Horwood
Director and Co-Adaptor Emma Rice
Designer Vicki Mortimer
Composer & Additional Lyrics Stephen Warbeck
Choreographers Etta Murfitt and Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster
Sound Designer Simon Baker
Lighting Designer Malcolm Rippeth
Puppet Director Sarah Wright
Puppet Designer Lyndie Wright
Musical Director Ian Ross

Ole Shuteye/The Emperor Niall Ashdown
Puppeteer/The Little Matchgirl Edie Edmundson
Ralph/Beetle/Mole/Trickster/The Prince Guy Hughes
Thumbelina's Mother/Field Mouse/The Princess Kezrena James
Thumbelina/Trickster Katy Owen
Toad/Beetle/Swallow/Soldier Karl Queensborough
Jackson Elizabeth Westcott

Guitar Jon Gingell
Guitar Alex Heane
Bass Dave Johnzy

Photography Steve Tanner

@The_Globe | #TheLittleMatchgirl

From the stories by Hans Christian Andersen

Access Performance

Signed performance Sat 16 Dec, 2pm
Audio described performance Sat 6 Jan, 2pm with touch tour 12 midday
Relaxed performance Sun 7 Jan, 2pm
Captioned performance Sat 13 Jan, 2pm

Click here for further access information, notes, visual and audio guides

Ticket Offers

Family Tickets
20% off family tickets of four* to shows from Sat 9 Dec to Sun 17 Dec, and Tue 2 Jan-Sun 14 Jan
10% off family tickets of four* to shows for peak performances* from Tue 19 Dec to Sun 31 Dec

*Four tickets made up of 2 adults, 2 children or 1 adult, 3 children. Standard terms and conditions apply. Top 4 price bands only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer

Groups of 10+ £4 off all tickets (excl Fri & Sat eve)
Groups of 20+ As above, plus 1 in 20 tickets free (excl Fri & Sat eve)
Groups of 50+ £7 off all tickets, plus 1 in 20 tickets free (excl Fri & Sat eve)
Not available Wed 20 Dec-Mon 1 Jan.

£12.50 Upper Circle / £7.50 Gallery tickets available (excl Fri & Sat eve)

Friends of Bristol Old Vic
25% off full price tickets
Limited to 4 tickets per Friend. Not available Tue 19 Dec-Sun 31 Dec.

Backstage Tour

Sat 9 Dec

Ahead of the Sat 9 Dec matinee performance, join us for a backstage tour with our in-house expert guide, where you'll be guided through our Theatre's rich 250-year-old history.

For more info, click here.

In summer 2016 we began redevelopment works to transform our Front of House entrance on King Street into a welcoming, vibrant space that everyone will be able to enjoy. During this time, it will be business as usual in the Theatre with our brilliant programme on offer, however there are a few changes to how we'll be operating.

Theatre Entrance

You are now invited to enter the Theatre through our Stage Door, walking in the footsteps of theatre legends such as Peter O'Toole, Daniel Day-Lewis and Miranda Richardson.

Our temporary Theatre entrance can be accessed via Rackhay (BS1 4HJ) off Queen Charlotte Street, around the corner from King Street.

Click here for more information.

Ticket Collection

On performance days, tickets can be collected from Box Office situated in our Backstage Bar opening 90 mins prior to each performance.

For more information on accessibility, ticket collection, our Backstage Bar, arrival and drop-off at our Theatre plus updates on our redevelopment, click here.

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