The Maddermarket announced they will be staging the 2012 UK Theatre Award winning production THE BORROWERS for their 2014 Christmas show.

General Manager, Les Hoare, who announced he was to leave his post at the Maddermarket concluded licence negotiations this week.

‘I cannot conceive a more satisfying final act than to sign off the contracts for this fantastic show’ he said. ‘The contract had to be agreed with both the UK and US licence holders and are rarely issued but we were able to convey our real enthusiasm for the play and that the Maddermarket would do a fantastic job’.

Following the success of their last two Christmas shows, The Snow Queen and The Railway Children, the Maddermarket wanted to build on their reputation for offering quality original entertainment for the family and THE BORROWERS, written by Mary Norton in 1952 and adapted for the stage by Charles Way, was an obvious if elusive choice.

An adventurous, heart-warming Christmas treat for children aged 6+ and their bigger ‘human beans’, it is a wonderful story of the “tiny” Clock family, who live beneath the floorboards of a large Victorian house and “borrow” from the big people above to survive.

The one danger that lurks above our tiny family is being seen by the “human beans”, so when the boy staying in the house discovers their presence their lives change forever as they are forced to face the dangers of the giant outside world.

THE BORROWERS was a popular BBC series in the early 90’s and in 2011 a BBC Production starring Stephen Fry, Victoria Wood and Christopher Eccleston  was equally successful.

The Maddermarket has appointed Peter Sowerbutts to direct the show and he will be releasing details for open auditions within the next few weeks. Having directed the last two Christmas shows at the Maddermarket, Peter is fully aware of the creative skills at the theatre and is relishing working with them on The Borrowers.

Peter says ‘This is a truly wonderful play and I have a great team at the theatre to help me bring it to realisation. I expect the chance to be in the cast for The Borrowers will attract the very best actors in the region. It was an inspired choice and Les has done a great job completing the contracts. Can’t wait!!’

The show opens on Friday 19th December 2014 with 19 performances through to Sat 3rd January 2015.

In an unprecedented move the Maddermarket have released tickets for immediate sale including the extremely popular family tickets introduced for The Snow Queen.

Les Hoare has been General Manager at the Maddermarket for two years.

In recent times the Maddermarket has seen two senior personnel changes resulting in the theatre being openly questioned, both in the press and on social media, as to their employment record.

For this reason Mr Hoare wants to make it clear that his departure is for purely personal reasons.

Mr Hoare says

‘Regrettably there are always those who wish to use the relative anonymity of the social media to spread theatrical conspiracy theories – in my case there isn’t one!

My offer to the Trustees, which has been warmly accepted, is that if required I will make myself available to ensure a smooth handover to my replacement.

When I took up the post the theatre had ‘drifted’ for a while lacking clear leadership and my remit was to re-introduce best practices throughout the theatre. This has been achieved with the result being improvements in customer service levels and a re-focussed and happy creative team working together to produce great shows, as was seen throughout the 2013 Season culminating in The Snow Queen.

The employed staff have all been at the Maddermarket for a number of years and it has been both an education and a pleasure to work with them. They are a thoroughly professional and totally dedicated team. Their creative talent is inspiring and their humour is infectious!

As we slowly emerge from a recession that has made it so tough for theatres to survive I know the Maddermarket is well placed for the future and I will leave wishing all my friends at the Maddermarket every success’.


THE BORROWERS by Mary Norton, adapted for stage by Charles Way with the permission of Walt deFaria

Fri 19th December 2014 to Sat 3rd January 2015

Box Office 01603 620917

On-line at


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