The magical and musical James and The Giant Peach plays at the Mercury Theatre this August.

Playing for three weeks of the school summer holidays, the story of James, his magical peach and the best (and most unusual!) friends a boy could have, is sure to put big smiles on the faces of adults and children alike.

After James spills a bag of magic on an old peach tree, he watches in amazement as the tree grows a peach so humongous it’s almost as big as a house! Inside this magical peach he meets five larger than life garden bugs and together they embark on a transatlantic adventure, taking them from the White Cliffs of Dover all the way to the Empire State Building.

Part of the Made In Colchester season, this stage adaption of Roald Dahl’s juicy tale is directed by Matthew Cullum, director of last year’s hit family drama Friend or Foe.

Matthew Callum said “What a crazy idea to try and stage James and the Giant Peach! Not only do we need a giant peach, but we need giant friendly insects to live inside it, hundreds of seagulls to fly it across the sea, hungry sharks trying to eat it, evil aunts trying to sell it, some helicopters filming it, and even an escaping rhinoceros chasing people around it! It’s a crazy idea and when the Mercury asked me to direct it I thought what a ridiculous, funny and brilliant adventure – let’s do it!”

Taking on the role of James will be James Le Laucher. James’ theatre credits include Anna Karenina (Pegasus Theatre/Royal Court), Black Sheep (Soho Theatre) and Antony and Cleopatra (Sam Wanamaker Festival/Shakespeare’s Globe).

James will be joined by Mercury family favourite Dale Superville who will play the role of Centipede and Aunt Sponge. Dale most recently starred in Forever Young (Nottingham Playhouse), and has extensive credits with Polka Theatre, including Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte’s Web, The Patchwork Quilt and Stardog.

Matthew Rutherford will play Earthworm and Aunt Spiker. Matthew’s theatre credits include The Hired Man (Mercury Theatre/The Curve, Leicester), The Buddy Holly Story (Stand Theatre) and Sweeney Todd with Jason Donovan.

Joining James, Dale and Matthew will be Kate Adams playing Ladybird, Pete Ashmore who will play Grasshopper, Josie Dunn playing Miss Spider and Barbara Hockaday who will play the Tour Guide.

James and The Giant Peach will be at the Mercury Theatre from Friday, 7 until Saturday, August 30. Tickets start at £10. To book tickets visit or call 01206 573948.

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