Matthew Kelly and Josefina Gabrielle are to star in the new, world premiere stage adaptation of John Masefield’s 1935 Christmas book The Box of Delights, which runs at London’s Wilton’s Music Hall from 1 December 2017 to 6 January 2018.
The original great British children’s literary classic, which has inspired authors from CS Lewis to JK Rowling, The Box Of Delights was first published in 1935 and was reinvented as an award-winning BBC television show in the 1980s, becoming an instant cult classic and creating a fanbase around the world. This brand-new stage show is written by beloved children’s author Piers Torday (whose work includes the bestselling Last Wild trilogy and new novel There May Be A Castle), directed by Justin Audibert and designed by Tom Piper.
The Box Of Delights tells the story of young orphan Kay Harker, the boy who must save Christmas. On the train home for the holidays he encounters an old magician, Cole Hawlings, who tasks Kay with protecting his Box of Delights, a wondrous device with time travelling powers. And so begins a tale of adventure that transports Kay through time and space, as he must protect the Box against Cole’s nemesis, the evil sorcerer Abner Brown.
This original production is the first time Poet Laureate John Masefield’s festive classic has been reimagined for the stage and will be brought to life by an ensemble cast in the Christmassy surroundings of Wilton’s Music Hall. Matthew Kelly and Josefina Gabrielle are joined in the cast by Mark Extance, Safiyya Ingar, Tom Kanji, Samuel Simmonds, Rosalind Steele and Alistair Toovey.
Matthew Kelly commented:
“I couldn’t be more delighted to be returning to Wilton’s, a magical venue and the perfect setting for the Christmas classic The Box of Delights. How they will achieve the effects of snow, flood, talking animals, miniaturised children and flying cars in this exciting time-travel adventure I have no idea. If anybody can do it, Justin Audibert directing and Tom Piper designing can and that’s why I’m on board. Hurrah.”
Matthew Kelly is an Olivier-award winning actor best known for television and stage acting and presenting family favourites Stars In Their Eyes and Game For a Laugh. Having appeared in several West End productions; Of Mice and Men, Waiting For Godot, Funny Peculiar and Sign of the Times to name a few, Matthew has most recently been appearing in Desire Under The Elms at the Sheffield Crucible.
Three-time Olivier-nominated Josefina Gabrielle has appeared in countless West End shows, including Stepping Out, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Sweet Charity and Merrily We Roll Along. Her television credits include Miranda, Doctors, Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Heartbeat.