Julia Donaldson's Running on the Cracks adapted for the stage
Tron artistic director Andy Arnold discusses his upcoming Julia Donaldson teen fiction adap
Although best known for The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson has also written fiction for teenagers. In her 2009 teen novel, Running on the Cracks, Leo, an orphaned half-English half-Chinese girl, flees her suspicious uncle’s home in Bristol for Glasgow, where she hopes to find her Chinese grandparents.
Andy Arnold, artistic director at Glasgow’s Tron theatre, saw the potential for a theatrical adaptation as soon as he read the book. ‘I like the potential darkness of it,’ he explains. ‘It has a great energy and the fact that it’s set in Glasgow appealed to me too. The characters are great -- not only Leo but particularly her friend Mary, who takes on Leo when she gets to Glasgow but who is very unstable herself.’
A co-production with York-based Pilot Theatre, Arnold’s adaptation has received Donaldson’s seal of approval and is aimed at audiences aged 14 and up. He says, ‘There are a lot of teen issues here, like potential sexual abuse and runaways. But nonetheless it’s a play which I think has got a strong narrative to it, which will appeal to adults as well.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 6--Sat 16 Feb