Roll up! for a circus of dreams at The Minack.

Published: Tuesday 4th Feb 2020

Written by: Catherine Coad

It’s the perfect entertainment for families this Easter, when Jacqueline Wilson’s best-selling children’s book, Hetty Feather, is brought to life in a thrilling adaptation by award-winning writer, Emma Reeves.  Based on the first book in the series, it tells the story of a child’s search for her mother and her true name, against the harsh realities of poverty in Victorian London.

Growing up in the Foundling Hospital is bleak and the future a life of endless drudgery, but for courageous red-head Hetty another world is possible, if only in her imagination.  Hetty dreams of finding the unknown mother who gave her up and learning who she really is, but when she encounters the glamourous, flame-haired circus performer, Madame Adeline, her dreams become dangerously entangled with the perils that lurk in the real world.

“It’s a fantastic challenge to bring this much-loved book to life on The Minack stage,” said Minack’s Executive Director Zoë Curnow. “Hetty is very special to many children and they’ll have clear ideas of what they expect her and her friends to be like.  I think they’ll be surprised and, I hope, entranced by what they see.  Emma Reeves takes us inside Hetty’s imagination in a wonderfully vivid way that is both inventive and exciting.  She is being very supportive to us in bringing her vision alive on our open-air stage.  

“Our production will include members of the Minack Youth Theatre.  There are so many talented young people in Cornwall.  We’re very proud to be able to give some of them the support and opportunity to develop their skills, and every year they reward us with amazing performances.  In Hetty Feather, our young cast members will be supported by professional actors Jenny Beare, Ben Kernow, Craig Johnson and Georgia Nicholson, and there’ll be original, live music from Ben Sutcliffe and Zaid Alrikabi of The People’s String Foundation.”  

Jacqueline Wilson doesn’t shy away from the sadness her characters experience as well as the moments of joy.  Although her books are written for children and are seen from a child’s point of view, they deal with real issues of identity, trust and its abuse and not everyone finds a happy ending.  In this witty and sensitive adaptation there is plenty to appeal to adults and the young at heart, as well as the young in years.

See Hetty Feather only at the Minack Theatre, Porthcurno on 31st March, 1, 3, 7, 8, 10 and 11 April 2020 at 7pm, and 31st March, 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 April at 2pm. For more information or to book call 01736 810181 or visit Adult tickets from £12; from £6 for age 15 or under.

Catherine Coad



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