A classic children’s story about wasps invading a village has been turned into a stage show and is now touring the country.
The Giant Jam Sandwich, a 1972 picture book by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway, has been adapted for the stage by New Perspectives Theatre Company’s artistic director Jack McNamara, and it makes a stop in Brackley in March.
The story goes that on a hot summer’s day, four million wasps invade the quiet village of Itching Down.
The picnickers panic and the farmer stops haymaking. The wasps are noisy, nasty and worst of all, they don’t mind who they sting!
That is, until the baker has an ingenious idea ... to trap them in a jam sandwich the size of a mountain.
The book has been enjoyed around the world for over 45 years, endlessly translated and adapted for radio, television and large scale orchestra.
Until now it had never been adapted for the stage, and New Perspectives are delighted to have the honour of bringing Bap the Baker, Farmer Seed and Mayor Muddlenut live to audiences for the first time.
Mr McNamara, who adapted and is directing the story, said: “I read The Giant Jam Sandwich obsessively as a child and have encountered many people since who cite it as their favourite picture book.
“As a three-year-old I accidentally dug up a wasp’s nest and was covered head to toe by an angry swarm.
“I managed to avoid serious injury, yet this story has served as consolation to me ever since!
“I was astounded to learn from John Vernon Lord that in the 45 years since it was written The Giant Jam Sandwich has never been professionally staged in the UK.
“Everything about it chimes with our company ethos, the village hall setting, the Derbyshire birthplace of the writer and the wild imagination of the story.”
The tour opened in Derbyshire and is now travelling around the county.
The play will be presented at Helmdon Primary School in Brackley at 6pm on Friday March 10 and is open to the general public.
Tickets cost £8 for adults, £5 for children and £22 for a family of four.
Call the box office on 01295 768126.