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The Firework-Maker's Daughter

This magical tale of courage and friendship is a theatrical event for all the family. David Bruce and Glyn Maxwell’s opera is based on a story by Philip Pullman.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of The Firework-Maker's Daughter. It was last on stage 10 December 2015—2 January 2016 as part of the Autumn 2015/16 season.

The Story

Lila desperately wants to be a firework-maker like her father Lalchand, but he claims it is no job for a girl. She runs away to learn the trade, followed by her friend Chulak and the lovesick white elephant Hamlet. Along the way they meet pirates, tigers and the terrifying Fire-Fiend.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)


Composer David Bruce and poet Glyn Maxwell turned to Philip Pullman’s acclaimed children’s novel The Firework-Maker’s Daughter for their 2013 opera. They had the perfect heroine in Lila, a bold and resourceful girl determined to achieve her dreams. Bruce weaves a colourful sound world of often breathtaking beauty around her perilous quest. Drawing inspiration from Pullman’s setting in a mystical Eastern land, Bruce incorporates gamelan, accordion and pentatonic scales into a score that delights and surprises in equal measure.

John Fulljames’s masterfully imaginative production was created in collaboration with designer Dick Bird and puppetry group Indefinite Articles. Shadow puppets and inventive light projections bring to life Lila’s world as she discovers the meaning of friendship in this operatic and visual delight, suitable for all ages.

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