An Elephant in the Garden is Simon Reade’s new adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling children’s novel.
1945. Dresden, Germany. Lizzie, her mother—and an elephant from the zoo, flee the Allied fire-bombing in the end-game of the Second World War. Escaping the Allies’ advance from the West—and also the advancing Russian armies from the East—this extraordinary trio of refugees meet: a downed RAF officer, cowering in a barn; a homeless school choir on the run and their Countess saviour, harbouring them from the Nazis; and the mechanised American cavalry, appearing over the horizon.
It is Lizzie’s story—but Marlene, the elephant, is the heroine. Plodding, obdurate, opportunistic, loadbearing, indestructible, cheering—Marlene embodies the stubbornness of the human will and how it will do everything to survive.
Michael Morpurgo is an English author, poet, playwright and librettist, best known for his work in children’s literature. He was the third Children’s Laureate. He has written over 120 books, and has been published in over 25 languages. His children’s novel War Horse has been adapted for stage where it became a smash-hit success in the UK, before transferring to Broadway and Toronto. War Horse has also been adapted for screen, directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 2012.
Simon Reade is a dramatist, director and producer. He has been Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and Literary Manager of the Royal Shakespeare Company and at London's Gate Theatre.