Acclaimed poet, performer, broadcaster and friend of Action Transport Theatre, Murray Lachlan Young is seeking the help of children from across the country in the creation of his next show.

Following the success of The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps, a gothic comedy theatre production aimed at family audiences, Lachlan Young is now turning his attention to a follow-up epic-poem, Iffly Sney and the Tandlesham Nook.

This new folktale-style show will tell the story of brother and sister Atom and Lunar and their quest through a magical forest in the company of Iffly, the kindly giant and the mysterious Old Mother Redbeard. 

In order to tap into the minds of future audiences, Murray and his fellow theatre-makers are looking for youngsters aged 7-11 to assist in the creative process. 

It’s a brilliant project” said Murray Lachlan Young “the idea is to create a digital interface for children to pass through into wider performance and creativity...

Using online resources and digital technology, Murray and his team will reach out to a team of primary school-aged children, asking them to become creative agents contributing ideas, images and feedback which will help inspire the making of the brand new Iffley Sney theatre show. 

What’s really brilliant” Murray went on “is our creative agents will be amongst the very first people to see and read the Iffly words. We really value their opinions and the unique ideas they have to offer and we know their creativity will actually shape the final look and feel of the piece.” 

Murray’s first show, The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps (produced in assosciation with Action Transport Theatre & Easter Angles) is a spooky story of a young boy who inherits an enormous ancestral home complete with a hilariously grisly backstory and a sinister butler, was due to tour venues this Spring with performances taking place at the Brighton Fringe. But, along with other theatre productions, the tour was cancelled with the arrival of the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Fortunately, Raddlesham Mumps is a multi-media experience - in addition to the live theatre performance, the creative team has also produced a studio album of the show (available for free during Covid19 on Soundcloud - here), a tablet/phone prequel game, and a VR experience as well as a beautifully illustrated hardback book (illustrations by fashion designer and artist Julie Verhoeven). So, even though the live show was pulled, audiences are still able to experience the story in other ways.  

There are five ways of experiencing Raddlesham Mumps” said Matthew Linley, “all different, but all with a common theme. On our creative journey we were joined by the University of Essex and, through their EIRA scheme, we explored the impact of telling the story in various ways. Now, these findings have been shared at conferences across Europe, and are influencing the development of our next project, Iffly Sney and the Tandlesham Nook.

So, how do children get involved with the creation of Murray’s latest offering, Iffly Sney and the Tandlesham Nook?

We were meant to be developing Iffly in rehearsal rooms in the East and North West” explains Matthew Linley, Creative Producer “but Covid19 put a stop to that.  However, thanks to the understanding and flexibility of Arts Council England the creative team will now be running the R&D in the digital space from their own homes up and down the country.  A key part of that R&D will be reviewing and working with the material our Creative Agents send us...

Working with the digital storytelling company Metro Boulot Dodo (MBD Limited) with input from primary school teachers, Murray Lachlan Young has developed a series of learning resources linked to the National Curriculum which are available on the Raddlesham Mumps website. With the suspension of the usual school timetable, these fun and interactive online lesson plans and worksheets are a perfect resource for parents and carers looking for home-schooling activities.

We may have had to rip up our initial development plans for Iffly Sney and start all over again” said Matthew Linley, “but we're really excited by where this new digital audience-focused creative journey is going to take us!

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