Ronni Ancona to Join Justin Fletcher in THE TALE OF MR. TUMBLE at Manchester International Festival

Casting is today announced for the world premiere of The Tale of Mr Tumble at Manchester International Festival this July.

Justin Fletcher, known to millions as CBeebies Mr Tumble, will be joined by Ronni Ancona as Miss Eerie. Other cast members will include Samuel Buttery, Samantha Dorrance, Connor Elliott, Lizzie Franks, Tom Mackley, Nicholas McLean, Samuel Parker, Katia Sartini, Kai Savage and Ben Stock. The company will be joined on stage by a Makaton signing choir who will perform alongside their hero Mr Tumble.

The Tale of Mr Tumble will be a funny, engaging and visually exciting show that will give children the chance to see Mr Tumble live and up close as he and his family share some of their fondest memories.

Audiences will find out how he became the joyful entertainer familiar to so many, following his journey from bouncing baby Tumble (with his bright red nose already in place), through his singing and dancing school years, right up to the present day.

Mr Tumble will be joined by his friends and family including Grandpa Tumble and introducing Tootsie. Featuring songs new and old, there will be plenty of opportunities for audience participation in this high energy event.

MIF Creative, the Festival's creative learning programme, is working with primary schools across Manchester to find and develop our Makaton signing choirs. Over the whole run, 400 local children will appear onstage with pre-school idol Mr Tumble, sharing their Makaton skills with each other and our audiences. Makaton is the specialist communication language that Mr Tumble and Something Special have done so much to popularise.

Written by Will Brenton, with design by Hayley Grindle, The Tale of Mr Tumble will be a real opportunity to step inside the colourful world of one of our most cherished TV characters.

Justin Fletcher is a presenter and actor widely known for his long-running character as CBeebies' Mr Tumble. On-screen his appearances for CBeebies include Justin's House, Timmy Time, Gigglebiz and hit show Something Special, celebrated for being one of the only entertainment programmes to span mainstream and Special Education Needs audiences successfully. He recently provided the voice for Shaun in the movie Shaun the Sheep. His recent arena tour of Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble's Circus played to packed crowds across the UK. Justin has been awarded the BAFTA Children's Award for Best Presenter on three occasions as well as being made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2008.

Award-winning actress Ronni Ancona is well known for her work on-screen in television programmes such as Last Tango in Halifax, The Trip, Skins, Steven Poliakoff's Gideon's Daughter and the BAFTA winning The Big Impression in which she appeared with Alistair McGowan for several series. She makes regular appearances on the popular comedy panel show QI and was a guest presenter on Have I Got News For You. She recently appeared in Alecky Blythe's Little Revolution at the Almeida Theatre, other theatre appearances include Singin' in the Rain with Adam Cooper (Sadler's Wells) and The Hypochondriac (Almeida). Film credits include Penelope, Stella Street - The Movie and The Calcium Kid. Ronni has won the British Comedy Award and the Variety Club Award for Best Actress and was also awarded a BAFTA for her work on The Sketch Show with Lee Mack.

Commissioned by MIF Creative. Produced by Manchester International Festival.
Supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust and MIF Creative Circle. In association with CBeebies.

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