Christmas magic for all the family - big or small - at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans

The Borrowers can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

The Borrowers can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t find a key or a safety pin that you just put down, you might find the answer at the Abbey Theatre.

The theatre's spellbinding production of The Borrowers – Mary Norton’s wonderful children’s story adapted for the stage by Charles Way – opens in St Albans on Friday, December 17.

Beneath Mrs Driver’s kitchen floor is the home of the borrowers – Pod and Homily Clock and their daughter, Arrietty.

The Borrowers can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

The Borrowers can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

In their tiny world, matchboxes make excellent wardrobes, cotton reels are tables, and a thimble is the perfect chair.

Whatever the Clocks need, they simply ‘borrow’ from the ‘human beans’ who live above.

But danger awaits the careless borrower who ventures upstairs, for borrowers who are seen by humans are never seen again.

Yet Arrietty is willing to take the risk, for there is a human boy up there, and Arrietty yearns for a friend of her own age. 

The Borrowers can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

The Borrowers can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

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As with so many Abbey Theatre productions, the backstage wizards have designed an ingenious set and props which, along with puppetry and video effects, magically create and link the worlds of the big and the little, upstairs and downstairs, borrowers and ‘human beans’. 

Next time you search for a missing pencil that you know was there a minute ago, remember the borrowers’ maxim: "Human beans are for Borrowers – like bread’s for butter!" 

The Borrowers can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

The Borrowers can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Performances of The Borrowers take place on the Abbey Theatre Main Stage from Friday, December 17 to Tuesday, December 28. Times vary between 2.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

To book tickets, go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861. 

The Abbey Theatre asks all adult audience members to wear face coverings throughout their visit to the theatre, unless exempt.

One seat will be blocked from sale between each booking to maintain social distancing in the auditorium.

The Abbey Theatre has been awarded See It Safely status in the national scheme administered by UK Theatre.

You can find more details of the scheme’s current guidelines here: https://officiallondontheatre.com/see-it-safely

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