Luna Loves Library Day to be adapted as a musical for children and families

Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho will work with songwriter and composer David Gibb to adapt his book ‘Luna Loves Library Day’ into a new musical for children and families.

Little Seeds Music and Z-arts have secured Arts Council Funding to produce a new musical adapted from the children’s book Luna Loves Library Day, written by Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Fiona Lumbers. The book will be adapted by Joseph Coelho alongside family musician and composer David Gibb. Also confirmed for the creative team are director Dermot Daley, and designer Nomi Everall.

The production will be co-produced by Little Seeds Music and Z-arts, and supported by Big Imaginations, Wonder Arts, The Story Museum, and Manchester City of Literature. It will open in October 2023 at Z-arts in Manchester, before heading out on a UK tour. It will then enter a second phase of touring in February 2024, starting with a week-long residency at The Story Museum in Oxford.

The book, which was published by Andersen Press in 2017, tells the story of Luna, who every week looks forward to one special day… Library Day! It’s the day when she discovers magic among the library shelves, from dinosaurs to mummies, from unexplained mysteries to monsters and magic. But for Luna, Library Day is also the one day a week that she gets to spend with Dad, making it all the more special.

L to R: Composer David Gibb, Dramaturg Renata Allen, and Writer Joseph Coelho during R&D sessions at Z-arts for the project, June 2022

In this new adaptation for the stage, audiences will join Luna and her Dad for a musical adventure among the library shelves as they discover magic, mystery, laughter, sadness and, through the power of stories, even start to mend their own history.

Both the book and this new production celebrate the power of libraries as shared spaces to bring families together. To highlight this important theme, the production will be designed to be performed in library spaces as well as theatre venues. Confirmed tour dates include The Royal and Derngate, Half Moon Theatre, Norwich Playhouse, The Gulbenkian, The Lyric Hammersmith, Warwick Arts Centre, Farnham Maltings, and Newhampton Arts Centre. This is alongside a week-long residency at libraries across Manchester and a further week at Chesterfield Library.

Writer Joseph Coelho says:

“Luna Loves Library Day was mine and Fiona Lumbers’ debut picture book so it is one very close to our hearts. I have long wanted to see it on stage and know that with Little Seeds Music and Z-arts at the helm, Luna is not only in very capable hands but also in incredibly talented hands. I cannot wait to share our new adaptation of Luna with families in theatres and, of course, libraries!”

David Gibb, Creative Director for Little Seeds Music says:

I fell in love with this beautiful book when it was first published in 2017, and knew at once that it would make a wonderful musical for children and families. I’m so excited to now have the chance to make that vision a reality, and to create a show that will be performed in the very spaces that it will also celebrate and promote.”

Zoe Pickering, Head of Programming for Z-arts says:

“We are so excited that Arts Council are supporting the adaptation of this beautiful book into a musical for children and families. Audiences are in for a real treat as much loved Joseph and David work their magic together to create something really very special.”

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