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A theatre show called Hey, Presto! promises magic for kids in County Durham; The adaptation of Nadia Shireen's book Hey, Presto! features a dog and a cat and is touring as part of Durham Book Festival.

Byline: David Whetstone

A touring children's play has become atradition and this year's is called Hey, Presto!

It is a stage adaptation of a picture book by author and illustrator Nadia Shireen which tells of Presto the cat and Monty the dog.

They're best friends and they have complementary skills.

Monty is great at singing, eating ice-cream and pulling funny faces while Presto is a brilliant magician.

Clearly they are not your average furry household pets.

When the carnival comes to town the talented four-legged pair decide to join up.

Naturally, they're a huge success. But when stardom goes to Monty's head, can the friendship survive?

You know what you'll have to do to find out.

The production follows sell-out tours of The Worst Princess in 2014 and Man on the Moon in 2015 which came courtesy of the same production team.

Newcastle-based Laura Lindow adapted Nadia Shireen's book while the actors are Matthew Gundel (who plays Monty), Samantha Morris (Presto), Claire Tustin and Ziad Jabero, best known as a member of musical group the Baghdaddies.

Director Ruth Johnson said: "I am delighted to be working with such a brilliant team of cats, dogs, mice and humans in bringing the magical story of Hey, Presto! to so many venues.

"The story is so rich in fun, friendship and magic and will be an experience for all the family to enjoy."

Anna Disley, programme director at New Writing North and the show's producer, said: "This is our fourth children's theatre production for Durham Book Festival and an important feature of the tour is that we visit many rural areas and places without their own theatres.

"We want to show our audiences that theatre and art can take place wherever you are."

Hey, Presto! is on tour arounduntil October 29.

To find a performance near you, go



The cast of Hey Presto! are, from left, Samantha Morris, Matthew Gundel, Claire Tustin and Ziad Jabero

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Title Annotation:What's On
Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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