5 Stars
‘An out-and-out triumph. Endlessly inventive, gloriously silly, poignant, topical, edifying.’

4 Stars

‘Theatre to snuggle down into on a frosty night’
The Guardian

4 Stars

‘An exquisite spell of a show...irreverent and funny’
The Telegraph

4 Stars

‘The inventive rhymes of Joel Horwood’s script, the seductively serio-comic tone and the versatile cast make this an adorably shadowy evening
The Times

4 Stars

‘A hotchpotch of crazy fun’
Financial Times

4 Stars

‘A hilarious and heartbreaking collection of fairy tales’
Time Out

4 Stars

‘Another showcase for Emma Rice’s rich gift for storytelling’
Evening Standard

4 Stars

‘A vaudevillian romp’
The Upcoming

Related Performances

2016–17 Winter Season 2016–17 Winter Season

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Shakespeare's Globe

The Little Matchgirl

and Other Happier Tales

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  • 2016/Noir/Matchgirl/Review/3
  • 2016/Noir/Matchgirl/Review/2
  • 2016/Noir/Matchgirl/Review/5
  • 2016/WonderNoir/Matchgirl/1

Thursday 24 November 2016 – Sunday 22 January 2017

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Tickets Running Time
Fixed Position Standing: £10 | Seated: £15 – £48 | Premium Tickets: £62 Approx. 1 hour 40 minutes with no interval

Your visit

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FAQs →


From the stories by
Hans Christian Andersen

Writer and Co-Adaptor
Joel Horwood

Director and Co-Adaptor
Emma Rice

Vicki Mortimer

Composer & Additional Lyrics
Stephen Warbeck

Etta Murfitt

Puppet Director
Sarah Wright

Puppet Designer
Lyndie Wright 


Edie Edmundson
Puppeteer/The Little Matchgirl

Akiya Henry
Thumbelina’s Mother/Field Mouse/The Princess

Paul Hunter
Ole Shuteye/The Emperor

Bettrys Jones

Japjit Kaur
Lead Vocalist/Jackson

Kyle Lima

Jack Shalloo
Beetle/Mole/Trickster/The Prince

View cast headshots on the blog →


Musical Director
Ian Ross

Dario Rossettit-Bonell

Carina Cosgrave
Double Bass 

Please note: this production took place in 2016.
The Little Matchgirl is touring the UK in 2017 2018.


'She drew out a match – ‘Scratch!’ How it sputtered as it burnt! It gave a warm, bright light, like a little candle, as she held her freezing hand over it. It was really a wonderful light.'

Animated trailer


As our destitute heroine struggles to survive, she strikes her matches to keep warm. Each match will conjure a new story, a new vision, and we will hold her hand as we tumble down the rabbit hole with her.


Inspired by the beautiful and devastatingly sad Hans Christian Andersen ‘wonder’ tale, The Little Matchgirl, and combining Andersen's other tales, The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor's New Clothes and Thumbelina, The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales will reveal a spellbinding world of magic and mystery. Steeped in the metaphor and meaning that runs through the veins of Andersen’s enduring stories, this will be a night to delight, transport and surprise.

For adults and brave children alike, expect music, puppetry, dark magic... and perhaps some modern truths that we would all rather remain hidden.

This show is recommended for ages 9+. Find out more about visiting the Globe with your family →

In rehearsals

View The Little Matchgirl rehearsal gallery →

The Little Matchgirl in rehearsals  The Little Matchgirl in rehearsals  The Little Matchgirl in rehearsals

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