Rehearsal picture of The Princess and the Pea. A Unicorn co-production with New Vic Theatre and Upswing. © 2024 Foteini Christofilopoulou.


The Princess and the Pea, Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, is set to delight audiences at the New Vic from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 29 June, as the theatre reimagines the story as a breathtaking circus fairytale for families this summer.

Suitable for children aged two and over and their families, this new production – a collaboration with contemporary circus company Upswing and the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences, the Unicorn Theatre – is filled with spectacular acrobatics, clowning, adventure and humour, and is a mesmerising introduction to theatre for the youngest theatregoers.

Directed by Upswing’s Vicki Dela Amedume MBE and New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins, the team behind the New Vic’s circus spectacular Astley’s Astounding Adventures, this playful retelling of a childhood favourite features a cast of four and includes New Vic favourite Danielle Bird (Astley’s Astounding Adventures, Alice in Wonderland) as Blue Servant; Nathan Johnston (Associate Artist with Upswing, Sleight of Hands, CAST Doncaster and UK tour) as Yellow Servant; Robert Penny (Red Riding Hood, Liverpool Everyman, The Cat in the Hat, Leicester Curve/The Rose Kingston) as Red Servant; and Rhiannon Skerritt (Beauty and the Beast, New Vic, The Box of Delights, Royal Shakespeare Company) as Purple Princess.

Writer and Director Theresa Heskins said: “It’s such a privilege as well as a pleasure to make work for children and families. The New Vic’s production of The Snow Queen was awarded Best Show for Children and Young People at the UK Theatre Awards and remains a firm favourite of mine, so I’m very glad to be adapting the work of Hans Christian Andersen again. We’ve brought together such an amazing team to make this piece, creating a heady mix of circus and slapstick. To hear people of all ages laughing and gasping together, having a brilliant experience and knowing that they’ll go away talking about it is a special joy. If the audience aren’t laughing their heads off, they’ll be marvelling at our four extraordinary performers’ acrobatics”.

The Princess and the Pea takes to the stage at the New Vic from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 29 June 2024. Tickets are on sale now, priced from £13.00. For more information and to book call the Box Office on 01782 717962 or visit


Sign up to Staffordshire Living’s monthly newsletter by entering your email below and receive all the latest news, events, special offers and competitions direct to your inbox.
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.