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Feathered enemies; You could enter Cloudcuckooland at a Tyneside theatre this week. Entertainment Editor GORDON BARR has the details.

Byline: GORDON BARR

THE birds are set to take revenge in a new play at a Newcastle theatre this week.

Cloudcuckooland is the new musical by Stephen Sharkey, who wrote Northern Stage's A Christmas Carol.

It runs at Newcastle's The Round from tomorrow until Saturday and is aimed at children aged seven years and upwards - as well as the young at heart!

"New musicals for this age are few and far between, and we're very proud to be hosting this first tour," said Ben Fletcher-Watson, theatre manager at The Round.

Based on Aristophanes's comedy The Birds, Cloudcuckooland is the tale of what happens when Swift and McFly become so fed-up of where they live that they decide to build a perfect new city in the clouds with the birds.

But the birds aren't too happy with the human race. Humans have been destroying their habitat and it's time for revenge.

Just how much damage can the strategic pooing of the entire bird community cause to mankind?!

The show features seven actor-musicians, who will play out the story using song, dance, clowning and music.

Although it is aimed at children, there will be plenty for all ages to enjoy.

Cloudcuckooland writer Stephen Sharkey is the author of acclaimed adaptations of Euripides and Dickens, as well as Everything Must Go for Southwark Playhouse and a musical retelling of Cinderella called The Glass Slipper. His play The May Queen had a triumphant run at the Liverpool Everyman and his adaptation of A Christmas Carol for Northern Stage had rave reviews.

For this project Sharkey teamed up with composer Alex Silverman, who has written music for Much Ado about Nothing at Shakespeare's Globe, for Total Theatre Award-nominated Crunch! in the West End and for the national tour of Pete and Dud: Come Again.

His work in musical theatre includes Hamlet! the Musical, which has toured nationally and internationally, and The Rise and Fall of Horatio Bottomley.

Director Helen Eastman has directed a fun-filled new children's opera, Bug Off!, for Opera Theatre Company (Ireland), and a number of critically acclaimed plays including The Cure at Troy, Fair (which transferred to London's West End after a sell-out fringe run) and Verity Bargate Award-winning Felt Effects.

Cloudcuckooland is at The Round tomorrow and Friday at 7.30pm and on Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. For more information and tickets (pounds 8 each) ring the box office on (0191) 260 5605 or log on to www.the-round.com

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FAMILY FUN - a scene from Cloudcuckooland
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 27, 2008
Words:420
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