The Royal Opera and Candoco Dance Company present the world premiere of The Lost Thing, a new musical reimagining of author Shaun Tan’s beautifully illustrated picture book of the same name. In this enchanting collaboration, a cast of disabled and non-disabled singers, dancers and musicians come together to tell a story about how we are all connected. The production opens in the Linbury Theatre on Monday 9 December 2019.

What is it… and where does it belong? The discovery of something mysterious and out of place is the starting point for this Christmas production: a musical reimagining of a much-loved book about a boy who helps a lost thing find its way home.

The Lost Thing features an original score by Jules Maxwell, direction and choreography by Ben Wright, set and video designs by Will Holt, lighting designs by Zerlina Hughes, costume designs by Rike Zollner and dramaturgy by Jude Christian.

Australian artist, writer and filmmaker Shaun Tan first wrote and illustrated his picture book The Lost Thing in 2000. The book was subsequently adapted into an animated film which won an Academy Award (2011). Tan’s other books include The Red Tree and The Arrival.

Candoco Dance Company is an internationally-renowned dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers, founded in 1991. The company is driven by the understanding that diversity is exciting, and dance is richer when different bodies and perspectives are part of its creation. Candoco exists to continually expand perceptions of what dance can be and who can do it.

Ben Wright is an independent choreographer and movement director working in contemporary dance, opera and theatre. He made his Royal Opera debut in 2016 as choreographer for Boris Godunov, directed by Richard Jones. Ben is one of the two Artistic Co-Directors of Candoco Dance Company, alongside founding company member Charlotte Darbyshire. He is also the director of his own UK-based ensemble bgroup and until the end of 2018 was the associate choreographer for Sweden’s largest independent dance company, Skånes Dansteater. He trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and worked primarily as a performer between 1991 and 2006.

Jules Maxwell has created music for a wide variety of choreographers over the last 30 years including Wayne McGregor, Jasmin Vardimon, Jane Mason, Cathy Marston, Charlotte Darbyshire, Charlotte Vincent, Theo Clinkard, Filip Van Huffel, Laila Diallo, Ben Wright, Hofesh Schecter and Jeanine Durning. He composed the soundtrack to Tim Loane's Oscar nominated short film Dance Lexie Dance and the National Theatre’s production of Love The Sinner by Drew Pautz. At Shakespeare’s Globe he has composed for productions of Doctor Faustus (2012), Anthony and Cleopatra (2013), Merchant of Venice (2015/16) and Boudica (2017). In 2010 he played keyboards on Brendan Perry’s European Tour and subsequently joined Dead Can Dance for their Anastasis World Tour 2012/13 and has recently been performing on their Life and Works World Tour.

The Lost Thing opens at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre on 9 December 2019, with subsequent matinee and evening performances until 4 January 2020.

The Lost Thing (#ROHlostthing)

9 and 10 December at 7.15pm, 12 December at 2.15pm and 7.15pm, 13 December at 7.15pm, 14 December at 2.15pm, 15 December at 2.15pm, 16 December at 7.15pm, 17 December at 2.15pm and 7.15pm, 19 and 20 December at 7.15pm, 21 and 23 December at 2.15pm and 7.15pm, 28 December at 2.15pm and 7.15pm, 29 December at 2.15pm, 30 December at 2.15pm and 7.15pm, 31 December at 2.15pm, 2 and 3 January at 7.15pm, 4 January at 2.15pm and 7.15pm

Co-production and co-commission with Candoco Dance Company.

Based on the book by Shaun Tan

Generous philanthropic support from the Paul Hamlyn Education Fund

The afternoon performance on 12 December 2019 is part of our regular Schools' Matinees programme. Generously supported by Mrs Philip Kan

All performances will be captioned. There will also be a number of relaxed, BSL interpreted and audio described performances.

Suitable for ages 6+

Sung in English

Tickets available from the Royal Opera House website and Box Office
(+44 (0)20 7304 4000)


Music Jules Maxwell

Director and choreographer Ben Wright

Dramaturg Jude Christian

Set and video designer Will Holt

Costume designer Rike Zollner

Lighting designer Zerlina Hughes

Performers include:

Vocal Ensemble: Joel Brown
Peter Brathwaite
Bethan Langford
Victoria Oruwari
Melanie Pappenheim
Collin Shay

Candoco Dance Company: Megan Armishaw

Toke Broni Strandby
Joel Brown
Mickaella Dantas
Olivia Edginton
Fabian Jackson
Laura Patay
Paulina Porwollik
Nicolas Vendange