The Box of Delights at Wilton's Music Hall

London theatre news: Tuesday 2 October 2018

Christmas shows - Off-West End

Casting is announced for fantasy classic, The Box of Delights, by Piers Torday based on the novel by John Masefield, which returns to Wilton's Music Hall from 30 November.
The Box of Delights at Wilton's Music Hall

Image: Wilton's Music Hall

The Christmas classic The Box of Delights by Piers Torday, based on the 1935 novel by John Masefield, returns to London's most festive venue - Wilton's Music Hall - from 30th November 2018 to 5th January 2019.

The action-packed festive tale - full of magic, talking animals, and even a flying car - returns to the east London music hall after its critically-acclaimed and sold out world premiere last year.

The Box of Delights at the Wilton's Music Hall

(From left) Top row: Theo Ancient, Nigel Betts, Mark Extance, Safiyya Ingar - bottom row: Tom Kanji, Molly Roberts, Samuel Simmonds, Sara Stewart

The production is welcoming back some old faces and introducing some brand-new cast members, including Theo Ancient, no stranger to magic, fresh from playing Albus Potter in the West End smash hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Joining Theo will be Nigel Betts (Emmerdale, Doctor Who) playing the dual role of Cole Hawlings and Abner Brown, with Sara Stewart (Doctor Foster, Unforgotten) as both dastardly Pouncer and kindly Caroline Louisa.

Molly Roberts will also be joining the cast playing Abner's evil hench-rat.

Returning to the Wilton's stage will be Mark Extance as the Bishop of Tatchester, Safiyya Ingar as the boisterous Mariah, Tom Kanji as the mischievous Charles and Samuel Simmonds as Peter.

The Box of Delights was adapted into a popular TV series in 1984 which proved to be a cult hit and is now re-imagined by best-selling children's author Piers Torday, whose work includes The Last Wild trilogy (Guardian Children's Fiction Prize) and the Narnia homage The Lost Magician.

This timeless classic will be bought to life by an acclaimed creative team including director Justin Audibert (Artistic Director, Unicorn Theatre) and Olivier Award-winning designer Tom Piper.

Writer Piers Torday said ...

"I am as proud as punch that The Box of Delights is returning to Wilton's this Christmas.

It is such a thrill to introduce today's children to one of the great original classics of magical adventure fantasy."

Show listing information


Once upon a time, there were two great sorcerers, Ramon Lulli and Arnold of Todi.

To decide who was the most powerful, they made a wager.

Who could invent the most incredible magical power, never seen before?

After a year, Ramon returned with an elixir, which would grant the drinker eternal life.

But then Arnold revealed his invention.

A box of his own invention.

A mysterious and wondrous Box of Delights, with dark powers.

Before Ramon could respond, Arnold disappeared, taking his Box with him.

Now centuries later, a boy on a train travelling home for the holidays, is about to be drawn into an ancient magical struggle, that will see him fighting not just for his life, but to save Christmas itself.

Watch out, Kay Harker, for the wolves are running …


Theo Ancient - Kay

Nigel Betts - Cole Hawlings and Abner Brown

Mark Extance - Bishop of Tatchester and Train Conductor

Safiyya Ingar - Mariah

Tom Kanji - Charles and the Inspector of Police

Molly Roberts - Herne the Hunter, Rat and Abner's Head

Samuel Simmonds - Peter

Sara Stewart - Pouncer and Caroline Louisa


Author: Piers Torday based on the novel by John Masefield
Composer: Ed Lewis
Director: Justin Audibert
Designer: Tom Piper
Lighting: Anna Watson
Sound: Ed Lewis
Movement: Simon Pittman
Video designer: Nina Dunn
Puppetry: Samuel Wyer
Production: Wilton's Music Hall and Hero Productions


Wilton's Music Hall
1 Graces Alley (off Ensign Street)
E1 8JB


From: Friday 30 November 2018

Closed: Saturday 5 January 2019


Standard: From £16


Show website
ActDrop full listing for The Box of Delights

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