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Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Join the Traverse Theatre Company and Red Bridge Arts this Christmas as they bring an energetic new production, inspired by best-selling book Black Beauty, cantering onto the stage. Read more …

From the cosy horsebox they call home, Andy and Andy take the bit firmly between their teeth and tell the classic tale of Black Beauty as you've never seen it before.

Saddle up, jump on and gallop headlong into a story where loneliness gives way to hope, friends become heroes, and courage saves the day.

Blending storytelling, music and puppetry, this vibrant re-telling of Black Beautyoffers fun and adventure for fans of the book, classic TV show and those brand new to the tale, and is sure to warm your heart during the coldest of winter nights.

The critical consensus

This innovative, hilarious piece of theatre is an all- round treat for children of all ages. Ya Beauty right enough!

*****Irene Brown, Edinburgh Guide, 04/12/2016

There is a suspicion that a slightly less fluffy approach might have been possible, but what emerges is a touching and enjoyable tale with an appropriately seasonal message of togetherness and hope.

****(*)Hugh Simpson, All Edinburgh Theatre, 04/12/2016

Fans of the original should not expect a comprehensive retelling of Black Beauty, but as a bit of Christmas family entertainment, this does the job well enough.

***(*)(*)Ben Reiss, Plays to See, 05/12/2016

In lesser hands, this inventive concept could have been an utter shambles. Instead, impeccable writing from our two Andys (Manley and Cannon) and Shona Reppe‘s design transfix the audience and holds our eyes and ears.

*****Dominic Corr, TVBomb, 05/12/2016

The company’s decision to shy away from its weightier themes and treat the production with kid gloves means that adults won’t be nearly so engaged, but it’s still an innovative and enjoyable adaptation of a much-loved yarn.

****(*)Jonny Sweet, The Skinny, 06/12/2016

Brave or, more accurately, confident; for this particular co-production between the Traverse and Red Bridge Arts is definitely sure of what it’s doing, and—for the most part—doing it extremely well.

****(*)Paul F Cockburn, Broadway Baby, 06/12/2016

All the sadness is there, both in the original story, and in the meta-narrative of the two Andys; but so, in the complex space between, is a gentle humour that has the kids in the audience shouting with laughter, a touching human relationship beautifully realised, and a stream of inventive genius that seems like the spirit of hope itself.

****(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 06/12/2016

The beguiling playfulness of this rollicking adaptation cleverly amplifies the high drama of Anna Sewell’s equestrian adventure.

*****Mark Fisher, The Guardian, 11/12/2016

There is an air of nostalgia to this inventive adaptation of Anna Sewell’s evergreen children’s tale that will also comfort those of a certain vintage.

****(*)Allan Radcliffe, 07/12/2016

This fun, joyful and touching production is a worthy recipient of the Black Beauty baton.

****(*)Kelly Apter, The List, 13/12/2016

Very funny and deliciously unique, this Black Beauty isn’t just for young children. Even my son (a 16-year-old Glaswegian) was impressed. “It was”, he said, “neigh bad”.

Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, 15/12/2015

Just might be the most creative and enjoyable theatrical experience currently running in Scotland.

****(*)Michael Cox, Across the Arts, 17/12/2016

It’s no small feat that, as the silliness rises to a conclusion which is perfect in its daftness, so too does our investment in these characters and the story they tell.

****(*)David Pollock, The Independent, 27/12/2016

It’s hard to balance the kind of slapstick that appeals to children with the witticisms and creative use of props that keeps adults entertained too, but the Equestrian Illusionists certainly succeed in pleasing both.

*****S.A. McCracken, Plays to See, 20/02/2017

Enchanting children’s theatre that will win over adults too.

****(*)Claire Wood, The Wee Review, 02/12/2018

Features about Black Beauty

Preview: Black Beauty

Kelly Apter, The List, 09/11/2016

Black Beauty takes a canter round Scotland

Irene Brown, Edinburgh Guide, 11/01/2017

Where and when?

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh from Friday December 2, 2016, until Saturday December 24, 2016. More info:

On Tour, from Friday January 27, 2017, until Sunday February 19, 2017.

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh from Thursday November 29, 2018, until Friday November 30, 2018. More info:

On Tour, from Sunday January 27, 2019, until Tuesday February 19, 2019.

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