A MUCH-LOVED children's story will be brought to life at The Haymarket in Basingstoke with a magical performance to entertain residents this Easter.

Julia Donaldson’s The Singing Mermaid will be at the theatre on April 12 and 13, in time for the Easter break.

The Singing Mermaid is tempted away to join a travelling circus, with the promise of a life of excitement (and her own swimming pool). The audience will no doubt love her singing, but will soon find out she's been tricked by the dastardly circus master. Will she ever escape? And who will help her along the way?

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With a cast of three talented performers, Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks' popular story The Singing Mermaid is adapted for the stage with enchanting puppets by Lyndie Wright and music and songs by Barb Jungr.  It is the perfect piece of theatre for three to eight-year-olds, and the performance is approx. 56 mins with no interval.

Julia Donaldson’s much-loved books include The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, and What the Ladybird Heard illustrated by Lydia Monks, who also illustrated The Singing Mermaid.  Her stories are translated into more than 76 languages and many have been adapted for stage productions. 

She was the Children’s Laureate 2011-2013, a time she used to encourage children to read and perform through her stories. 

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She said: “As well as being fun, performing is, in my opinion, tremendously good for children’s confidence. I visited lots of schools and libraries, and the visiting children did lots of acting! I’ve seen how much play-reading improves children’s reading skills, so I was delighted to collaborate with the publishers Pearson and several fellow authors on a series of sixty fun short plays, called "Plays to Read", which each have parts for six characters and are graded to suit all primary classes.”

Tickets are priced at £17.50.

For more information or tickets, contact the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244 or visit anvilarts.org.uk/whats-on/event/the-singing-mermaid.