Shakespeare's Globe

The Little Matchgirl

And Other Happier Tales

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

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

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

‘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

‘A hotchpotch of crazy fun’
Financial Times

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

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

‘A vaudevillian romp’
The Upcoming

Music from
The Little Matchgirl

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Tuesday 27 March – Saturday 21 April 2018

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Tickets Running time
TicketsFixed Position Standing: £10 | Seated: £20 – £48 | Premium Tickets: £62 Running timeApprox. 2 hour 15 minutes including an interval
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Your visit

Getting here
Eating and drinking 
Where to stay
Safety at the Globe


From the stories by
Hans Christian Andersen and Other Storytellers

Writer and Co-Adaptor
Joel Horwood

Director and Co-Adaptor
Emma Rice

Vicki Mortimer

Composer and Additional Lyrics
Stephen Warbeck

Etta Murfitt and Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster

Sound Designer
Simon Baker

Lighting Designer
Malcolm Rippeth

Puppet Director
Sarah Wright

Puppet Designer
Lyndie Wright

Musical Director
Ian Ross


Niall Ashdown

Edie Edmundson

Jon Gingell

Alex Heane

Guy Hughes

Kezrena James

Dave Johnsy

Katy Owen

Karl Queensborough 

Elizabeth Westcott

View cast headshots on the blog → 


A Shakespeare’s Globe and Bristol Old Vic co-production

Bristol Old Vic

Production photography
Steve Tanner

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



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 together.


Inspired by the beautiful and devastatingly sad Hans Christian Andersen tale, The Little Match Girl, 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 reveals 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.  

After a triumphant run in 2016, The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales will once again have you crying with laughter and laughing through tears.

Behind the scenes

Audience reactions

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