By Michael Morpurgo
In an adaptation by Samuel Adamson
Originally produced by Chichester Festival Theatre and Regent’s Park Theatre

For Lilly, going to Indonesia isn’t just another holiday with mum. It’s a new start, and the chance to ride an elephant called Oona. But then the tsunami hit.

Charging deep into the jungle, Oona escapes the danger of the beach with her young rider desperately clinging on. Miles from civilisation, at first there’s wonder, discovery and tree-top adventures amongst the orang-utans. But, as thoughts turn to mum left behind on the beach, wild tigers prowl, hunger hits, and Lilly must now learn to survive the rainforest. Then come the hunters.

Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to lush life with extraordinary heart, vibrant colour and exceptional creativity, wowing audiences of all ages and critics alike.

Directed by Timothy Sheader and Dale Rooks and with puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié, both previous Associate Puppetry Directors on War Horse, this epic and spectacular production tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss, loyalty and of living for the moment.


Please note, performances on Wednesday 5 (1:30pm) and Thursday 6 (10:30am) are specifically offered to schools but all are welcome.

Running time: Act 1: 50 mins – Interval: 20 mins – Act 2: 40 mins
Age guidance: 6+

  • Evenings £20 to £25
  • Matinees £20
  • Family ticket of 4 £50 (select 4 adults tickets and enter promo code RUNNING)
  • Friends of The Grand £5 off (opening night only)
  • Concessions £3 off (Evenings and Matinees)
  • Under 18s £3 off
  • Under 26s £12.50 (first 50 tickets, weekdays only; subject to availability)
  • Groups 10+ £4 off
  • Groups 50+ £5 off
  • Schools £9.50 Wed 1.30pm & Thurs 10.30am (Schools Performances)
  • The Running Wild includes these accessibility options

    Audio Described

    What the critics say


    4/5 Star Rating

    "A WINNER. The puppetry is exquisite, with full-sized animals manipulated so they seem to breathe with life. THE MAGIC REALLY HITS YOU."

    4/5 Star Rating


    4/5 Star Rating

    "AUDACIOUS and IMAGINATIVE, stylishly directed and those puppets are things of never-ending beauty."

    4/5 Star Rating

    "A CROWDPLEASER, mainly thanks to INSPIRING and ENERGETIC staging, namely some amazing puppet animals brought to beautifully articulated life. "

    "Dazzling: the sung music effects of the sea from the chorus and the patter of rain, the huge blue material that represented the tsunami and enveloped the audience at one point took my breath away - A BRILLIANT, LIFE-AFFIRMING SHOW..."