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Utopia Theatre to take joyous Anna Hibiscus’ Song on tour

Leading African theatre company Utopia Theatre is taking the uplifting story of a puppet girl “bursting with happiness” on a UK tour after securing additional Arts Council England funding. 

Anna Hibiscus’ Song, adapted for the stage and directed by Utopia Theatre’s Artistic Director Mojisola Kareem from the book written by Atinuke, is set to take centre stage at eight venues through summer and autumn. 

The participatory production has something for everyone to enjoy, and the tour draws on the success of the show first staged at Sheffield Theatres and in Yorkshire community venues in 2023.  Last year’s production run was watched by thousands of children, families and adults; captivated by the unique story of happiness and self-discovery. 

Told through music, dance, puppetry and traditional African storytelling, Anna Hibiscus’ Song is a theatrical adaptation of Atinuke’s popular children’s book which promises to have audiences beaming from ear to ear. Suitable for children aged 3+ and their families, the performances will be interactive and colourful throughout to bring the stage and story to life. 

Anna Hibiscus’ Song celebrates and features authentic voices from the African diaspora in the UK to celebrate culture, heritage and the diverse makeup of modern families. Described by The Stage as a “joyous family show with song, dance and impressive puppetry” which is “bursting with happiness,” the performance dates for the 2024 tour are: 

  • Bristol Old Vic: 28 – 31 August
  • Hull Truck: Dates to be confirmed
  • York Theatre Royal:  Dates to be confirmed 
  • The Quarry Theatre, Bedford: 14-15 September
  • CAST, Doncaster:  20-21 September 
  • The North Wall, Oxford:  28 September (Tiny Ideas Festival)
  • Capital Theatre, Edinburgh: 3-5 October
  • The Unicorn, London:  9-13 October

Anna Hibiscus’ Song, a Sheffield Theatres co-production which features live original music, will also be streamed from 14-20 October as part of Black History Month. Tickets can be purchased from today (Wednesday 8 May) and all details can be found at 

Utopia Theatre is a world-class African theatre company founded by Artistic Director and CEO Mojisola Kareem. Kareem said: “Anna Hibiscus’ Song gives audiences the chance to enjoy an immersive theatre experience, where the stage becomes Africa and children are encouraged to help tell the story with dance and song.

“Launching this nationwide tour is so special because I loved adapting this much-loved children’s book to the stage and was taken aback by how Yorkshire audiences last year were so captivated by the truly uplifting story of Anna Hibiscus’ Song. We are so excited to be working with so many fantastic venues across the UK to bring this to life once again and welcome more people to theatres. 

“I’d like to thank the many people who have made this journey possible, including the brilliant production team and Arts Council England for their continued support. At Utopia Theatre, we’re on a mission to make theatre and arts much more inclusive and Anna Hibiscus’ Song is certainly breaking down barriers so that families from all backgrounds can enjoy the pure joy of storytelling together.” 

Pete Massey, Director North, Arts Council England, said: “I absolutely loved Anna Hibiscus’ Song by Atinuke when I experienced it in Sheffield so it’s brilliant to hear that we have provided funding for many more people to see this wonderful tale about happiness. Utopia Theatre’s interactive stage version with fantastic puppets, music and dance has already enthralled and delighted thousands of children and their families. I’m really pleased that we have awarded £78,947 through our National Lottery Project Grants programme to enable the show to tour across England later this year, and I’m sure that new audiences will enjoy it just as much as I did.”Tickets for Anna Hibiscus’ Song are on sale now, with dates being released in the coming weeks.

To buy tickets, visit