IF THERE is one thing that is for certain in Julia Donaldson’s life, it is that she is constantly spinning plates.

Fresh from performing her show The Gruffalo, The Witch and The Warthog, the writer will now deliver an adaptation which has brought her book Zog to life.

The book follows large in size and keen in nature Zog who is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things dragons need to know.

The book has been adapted for the stage by Mike Shepherd, with an original folk score by Johnny Flynn and designs by Katie Sykes.

Speaking of the prospect of seeing Zog on stage, Donaldson said: “I’m tremendously excited that Zog will be taking flight around the UK in this first ever stage production.

“Going to the theatre can be a truly magical experience, I know it will be such a thrill to see the world of Zog being brought to life on stage.”

Donaldson is best known for creating characters such as The Gruffalo, but she is always looking to create new characters and bring new ideas to life.

But for Zog, this dragon has a slightly different origin compared to the writer’s other creations.

“The initial idea didn’t come from me,” Donaldson added.

“My editor said to me ‘it would be lovely to have a story about a dragon’, so I started thinking about it and the name ‘Madam Dragon’ came into my head, which I thought had a nice sound.

“Then I thought what could Madame Dragon do, who could she be? I came up with various ideas and a schoolteacher was one of them, so I took it from there.

“Originally it was going to be about a knight and a dragon, but it ended up being about a princess and a dragon – the story came to me bit by bit.

“My husband Malcolm, who is a doctor, also had some input here. Because when I was planning the story, I knew that Zog would keep meeting the princess, and originally I was going to have them play together and toast marshmallows.

“And Malcolm said that’s a bit soppy, couldn’t it be something with a bit more oomph? And then I came up with the doctor angle.”

Donaldson’s work is no stranger to the stage and the author sees it as a natural extension of her writing.

She added: “Handing it over to a theatre company or film company, you know it’s going to change, but you have to let it go.

“With things like voices and characters, I can’t actually think of a time where I felt they got it wrong on stage.”

Zog will be at the Haymarket on May 29 and 30. For more information, go to