Moonbird receives its world premiere and Luna is presented in British Sign Language


The Big Imaginations Children’s Theatre Festival (18th October – 3rd November) – the first ever of its kind in the North West – is staging two delightful productions suitable for theatre-goers who are Deaf or hard of hearing.


Moonbird, based on Deaf author Joyce Dunbar’s children’s book of the same name, will receive its world premiere at Z-Arts Manchester on 29th October.  Produced by highly-acclaimed French Theatre Company, Compagnie Animotion, the production is a beautiful and highly visual tale about a little Arabian Prince, Orla, who is born deaf and unable to communicate with his parents.


Orla is taken on a magical journey to a faraway land where he learns to see music in the waving grass and is taught to speak with his hands. Armed and empowered with this newfound knowledge, Orla makes the trip back home where he shares with his parents the beautiful language he has found.


Also promoting sign language and deaf culture, the interactive play invites the audience to take off their shoes, sit on the colourful woven mats, and let the smells of cardamom, mint and incense transport them to the heart of the warm Bedouin desert…


In addition four performances of Theatre Hullaboo and Theatre lolo’s enchanting production Luna will be accompanied by signing in British Sign Language.  Suitable for 2-5 year olds and their families, Luna is all about friendship and being brave in the dark as Luna the moon slides down from the sky to help a little boy overcome his fear of night-time.  The four, signed performances will take place at Citadel Theatre, St Helens on 19th October, Z-arts in Manchester at 1pm on 20th OctoberThe Edge, Chorlton at 1.30pm on 21st October and the Atkinson, Southport at 11.30am on 22nd October.



“We are committed to bringing brilliant and affordable children’s theatre to the North West and we want to try to make it as inclusive as we can for everybody,” says Liz O’Neill, CEO Z-arts, a lead partner of Big Imaginations. “Both of these lovely productions are suitable for all families but we particularly hope it will give people who are deaf or hard of hearing a chance to enjoy the magic of theatre too”.


The Big Imaginations Children’s Theatre Festival is part of the first nationwide Family Arts Festival, joining leading arts venues and institutions programming over 1,000 events to entertain family audiences over half term. The UK-wide festival includes theatre, dance, music and visual arts events designed to increase family participation in the arts and build on the momentum of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad.  For more information go to




Press Contact: Beverley Wilkins, Hummingbird Communications, 07525 042572,



Notes to editors:


About Big Imaginations


Big Imaginations is a region-wide group of venues and promoters dedicated to bringing quality children’s theatre to the North West.  From grand auditoriums to rural village halls and everything in between, their mission is to spark the imagination of children aged 0-12 with the wonder of theatre.  Bringing together 15 venues from across the North West, Big Imaginations has made children’s theatre brighter, better and, most importantly, more affordable.  For more information: