A musical adaptation of the book by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton

Produced by Tall Stories

From London, England

About the Company

Something monstrous is keeping Emily Brown awake...


One evening, Emily Brown and her old grey rabbit Stanley hear a Thing crying outside their window. The poor Thing just can’t get to sleep, so Emily Brown and Stanley set off on incredible adventures to the Dark and Scary Wood, the Whirling Wastes and beyond, to find the Thing’s cuddly, his bedtime milk, and his medicine... but nothing seems to help him settle.

What’s really troubling the Thing, and will anyone ever get to sleep?  Parents and children the world over will recognize all the bizarre excuses a child can make to keep the light on and a parent in the room at bedtime, and this story has a gentle message that there's really no need to be scared of 'Things' in the night.

Touching on themes of fear, bravery and adventure, this production has great songs, clever puppets, and characters that audiences of all ages will adore. Join us for this magical musical show, based on the much-loved book by Cressida Cowell (writer of 'How to Train your Dragon') and Neal Layton.

Official Showcase Selection at IPAY 2017!

Best for Grades: PreK - 3rd

Audience Size: Small to Medium Venues

Please contact us to watch a full length archival recording.



Company Background

Past Tours include: The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Snail and the Whale, and Room on the Broom


Tall Stories brings great stories to life for audiences of all ages. The company was founded in 1997 by joint artistic directors Olivia Jacobs and Toby Mitchell, who have co-created all the company’s shows since then.


Tall Stories is a registered charity which has become internationally recognised for its exciting blend of storytelling theatre, original music and lots of laughs. The company’s unique brand of physical storytelling theatre has toured from Cornwall to Aberdeen and from New York to Sydney.

For more information, please visit the company's website: http://www.tallstories.org.uk/


Artistic Team

Director: Olivia Jacobs 

Creative producer: Toby Mitchell

Designer: Isla Shaw

Puppet Designer: Yvonne Stone

Lighting Designer: James Whiteside

Choreographer: Luanna Priestman

Music: Jon Fiber and Andy Shaw for JollyGoodTunes

Scenic Construction: Harrogate Theatre Scenic Services

Costumier: Christine Atkinson

Knitter: Hannah Alton

Assistant Costume Designer: Lisa Aitken

Wigs: Diana Hudson

Touring Cast: TBA

Critical Acclaim

A slick storybook adaptation with a big heart… one of the company’s finest hours!

A brilliant show: funny, touching, and completely satisfying…I hardly know which element to rave about first: an excellent story celebrating a young girl’s wild imagination and plucky spirit; actors whose wonderful physicality, expressive faces, and pitch-perfect delivery bring life to our heroine, her bunny best friend, and the woeful Thing… If you see one children’s play at the Fringe, make it this one.

—Edinburgh Guide

Both universal and moving… An adventurous, fully-realised production that beguiles its young audience like the sweetest of sweet dreams.

– Fest

We LOVE Tall Stories… Over the years we have had rather a lot of ‘in school’ theatre performances. They have all ranged in quality – and all of value – BUT nothing comes close to the outstanding professional theatricality of the Tall Stories performance – Emily Brown and the Thing. We had a KS1 and KS2 performance and the show proved superbly versatile for the entire school – speaking to both age ranges beautifully.

—Sudbourne Primary School

I just wanted to say how much myself and my 2 kids (5&7) enjoyed the show. I’ve seen a number of kiddies productions, some better than others, and this was the best! And it’s always good to see a female protagonist being strong and brave and resourceful. Well done!

- Avri, Audience Member

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Gallery of Past Productions


2017/2018 Dates

See Performances of “Emily Brown and the Thing": 

December 11-23, 2017 at Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane, Australia.

January 3-14, 2018 at Arts Centre Melbourne, Australia.

January 15-21, 2018 at Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Hong Kong.

January 25, 2018 at The British School, Paris, France.

Or see the company on the road with "The Gruffalo"
in spring 2018.

Curriculum Connections

  • Language Arts: Role Playing, Imagination, Storytelling, Alliteration

  • Literature:  Reading

  • Fine Arts: Music, Drama, Puppetry, Adapting a book into a musical

  • Community Values: Courage, Self Esteem, Problem Solving 


Minimum Technical Requirements

  • Load In Time: Four hours (pre-rig required.)

  • Crew Needs: 4 crew members -1 stage, 2 LX, & 1 Sound (not students or volunteers.) 1 crew member to operate either light or sound during show.

  • Min. Stage Size: 20’ wide x 20’ deep, 12’ high. Two dressing rooms

  • Sound Needs: All sound will be operated via Q lab. 3 wireless mics with receivers and transmitters. 2 monitor speakers placed in the Downstage corners of the stage.

  • Load Out Time: 2 hours


Outreach and Workshops

With advance notice, Tall Stories can offer additional workshop or outreach opportunities and pre/post performance events. Possible activities include:


Tall Stories present Small Stories

Tall Stories present a workshop, which looks at some of the ways they use to tell stories in their shows. Find out how to create a story in pictures, how to create a character using your body – and then tell your own story in small groups. The workshop is a fast-moving, enjoyable introduction to storytelling in theatre – using games, freeze frames and well-known tales. Lots of fun – dress in loose clothes!

  • Duration: 1 hour

  • Max no of pupils: Ideally 20 

  • Age suitability: Suitable for 5 to 8 year olds. (Teacher must be present)

  • Room: A clear, self contained room large enough for the number of participants and preferably not the theatre space itself.


“Relaxed” or “Sensory Friendly” Performances

Tall Stories is committed to providing opportunities for all families to be able to attend the theatre. This production may be offered as “Relaxed” or “Sensory Friendly” performance for families and children with special needs. Sensory Friendly performances are designed to provide an opportunity for people and children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders or related disorders, learning difficulties, or other sensory and communication needs who require a more relaxed environment. Tall Stories frequently holds Sensory Friendly performances, signed/audio described performances, pre-show touch tours, and more.

If you are interested in or planning on organizing a performance of this sort for ‘Emily Brown and the Thing’ we would be delighted to work with you on it, provided we know about this request well in advance. We can provide a sample visual guide to the story for Sensory Performances and discuss any other aids that would be useful. There may be small changes to the show such as to the lighting and sound.

ph: 512-477-1859 | email: sk@holdenarts.org | P.O. Box 49036 | Austin, TX 78765