Friday, August 20, 2010

Mr Benn back for Tate

Katie Allen in The Bookseller

Tate Books is planning a big splash to celebrate two anniversaries of 1960s children’s book and TV character Mr Benn.

The publisher is re-releasing Big-Top Benn, written and illustrated by David McKee as an £8.99 hardback on 9th September, to celebrate the title’s 30th anniversary.
To tie-in with the 40th anniversary of the TV adaptation’s first showing on the BBC, Tate will follow up in 2011 with other titles from the Mr Benn series, which comprises Mr Ben-Red Knight, 123456789 Benn, and Big Game Benn, although titles and publication dates are yet to be confirmed. Originally published by the defunct Dobson Books, all four titles are out of print.

The bowler-hatted protagonist is also set to be an inspiration for Liberty Art Fabrics’ 2011 range, and will be the subject of a touring stage show from May 2011, adapted by Tall Stories, the theatre company behind the Gruffalo stage show.

Other works in the pipeline include a Mr Benn opera from composer Stephen McNeff and opera singer Andy Morton; a computer game from games company Dragonray Studios; and original composer Duncan Lamont, and his son Duncan Lamont Jnr,

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