Life-affirming, 5-star hit Wonder Boy to be released on Sky Arts. Broadcast premiere 27 Nov.
Bristol Old Vic On Screen is partnering up with Sky Arts to bring the smash-hit stage show Wonder Boy to TV screens later this month. The production, filmed at Bristol Old Vic during its world premiere in 2022, will air Monday 27 November at 10pm on Sky Arts and streaming service NOW.
Written by Ross Willis, the “unmissable” (Guardian) Wonder Boy celebrates the beauty in what makes us different, and is brought to life by Olivier Award-winning director Sally Cookson (A Monster Calls) in a blaze of colour, music and imagination.
Wonder Boy tells the uplifting story of Sonny, a 12-year-old boy trapped in a failing education system. Hiding in silence behind a debilitating stammer, Sonny is struggling to navigate his way through secondary school, when to his horror, he is cast in the school production of Hamlet. With rehearsals underway and the pressure mounting, Sonny joins forces with his inspirational teacher Wainwright and hilarious classmate Roshi. Together the trio embark on a journey of discovery and acceptance, as Sonny’s new friends help him unlock the power of his own voice.
The original stage production took place in March 2022 and won the 2023 Writers Guild Award for Best New Play. The run included a series of engagement projects around identity, belonging and being heard. Sally Cookson explained: “It is important that theatres continued to make connections, communicate and share ideas, particularly after the impact of the last few years. We decided it was hugely important to open up that conversation and make this production accessible to people who communicate in different ways”.
The production fuses state of the art live creative captioning and BSL performance with traditional theatre craft and live music for a fully inclusive and accessible piece of theatre. The film is presented with the complete live creative captioning fully integrated on screen.
Speaking today, Charlotte Geeves, Bristol Old Vic's Executive Director said: "Wonder Boy's success was proof of the ongoing appetite for theatre performances to be available in a variety of ways to counter physical, economic or geographical barriers. We are thrilled to be be able to continue Bristol Old Vic’s partnership with Sky Arts, and to be bringing this film of Wonder Boy to their viewers. Ross Willis’ remarkable play received nightly standing ovations when it ran at Bristol Old Vic, and we are grateful to the support of Sky Arts in helping to bring this performance to the screen, allowing a wider audience to delight in this magical production.”