Raddlesham Mumps take flight – in the rehearsal room AND in the animation studio

So this week sees Murray Lachlan Young and the whole Raddlesham team get together to start developing The Mystery of the Raddlesham  Mumps ahead of its opening in April.  

Murray of course is an award winning, multi-disciplinary writer spanning the worlds of: poetry, theatre, film, music, lyrics and as much live performance as time allows.  He appears regularly on Radio 4, Radio 2 and is resident poet on BBC 6 Music.  

The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps project is based on Murray’s brand-new epic poem of the same name.  The project will sees the team of creatives develop a live show touring 8 venues in April 2019, a wraparound VR and immersive theatre experience as well as releasing an album of the show to go along with the already published book.

The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps reflects Lachlan Young’s passion for sweeping, gothic and absurdly comic children’s poetry. With ghosts, witches, fairy folk and a classic tussle between good and evil, the poem has been developed as a book, a CD, and an interactive Virtual Reality experience as well as a lively theatre performance.

The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps places young, innocent, curly-haired Crispin, at the centre of the story. When our brave young hero, inherits his parents’ stately home, the eponymous Raddlesham Mumps, the seven-year-old begins a bizarre and entertaining voyage of discovery. With Kenilworth the ancient butler as his guide and confidant, over the course of 100 plus gripping stanzas, Crispin gradually learns the truth behind the untimely deaths of his deeply eccentric ancestors.

From bare-knuckle fighters and intrepid explorers to bell-bottomed hippies and Brit-pop clubbers, Murray Lachlan Young takes the audience on an historical and hilarious rollercoaster of rhyme. With a brilliant score by Arun Ghosh, a healthy dose of physical theatre and a huge dollop of silliness, The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps will make family audiences (whether for the play, the album or the VR) laugh and shudder in equal measure.

Commenting on The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps, children’s author and broadcaster Michael Rosen said:-

 ‘A fearsome but funny, perfectly metrical gothic tale of dynasty, death, revenge and hope. Fantastic word play, lots of gruesome, lovely moral.’

As the team starts developing the work Arts Council England has announced an investment of £60,604 National Lottery funding through their Arts Council National Projects grant programme. The University of Essex has also confirmed an award of £24,994 towards the project through the EIRA (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application) programme, a £4.7m project funded by Research England to drive forward world class University commercialisation).

Murray Lachlan Young said :-

‘I’m so excited to be getting started at turning the Raddlesham Mumps into a live show, an immersive experience and an album.   I can’t wait to be back in the room with my fantastic creative team exploring storytelling in all these different forms and I’m really grateful to both Arts Council England and the University of Essex for their support and collaboration’

Vanessa Cuthill, Director of the Research and Enterprise Office at the University of Essex said:-

‘We are delighted to be investing in and providing academic expertise to support Murray’s Raddlesham Mumps project through our new EIRA programme. This is the first EIRA Grant for the R&D award and our first Digital Creative project. The EIRA team are excited by Murray’s innovative ideas for applying technology to the Raddlesham Mumps experience and for exploring transmedia storytelling. We can’t wait to see how the project unfolds and how the data gathered from the research can steer future collaborations.’

Hedley Swain, Area Director South East, from Arts Council England said:-

‘We’re really pleased to be supporting The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps, which promises to be an engaging, exciting and innovative project. Thanks to the support of University of Essex, the ambitions and learning from the Raddlesham Mumps project – especially around digital storytelling – have the potential to have a real sector-shaping impact and we look forward to seeing how the project develops across 2019’.

The VR element of the project is being created by MBD who produce high quality arts experiences with a focus on storytelling, heritage and technology. Most recently MBD has created a number of storytelling experiences using Virtual Reality, including the Empire Soldiers VR series, telling the stories of colonial soldiers in WW1. In 2018,


The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps

Written by Murray Lachlan Young

Performed by Murray Lachlan Young and Joe Allen

Directed by Nina Hajiyianni

Music by Arun Ghosh

Designed by Bek Palmer

Movement by Laura Williamson Biggs

VR and animation by MBD LTD

Associate direction by Scott Hurran

Produced by Matthew Linley

 Marketing – Karen Goddard

Creative Mentor – Dr Liam Jarvis (University of Essex)

Impact research – Dr Loes Van Dam and Prof Paul Hibbard (University of Essex)

 Presented in association with Eastern Angles and with the financial support of Arts Council England, University of Essex and Essex County Council.  

The tour

Thursday 11 April at 7pm, Friday 12 April at 3pm & 7pm

Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex CO4 3SQ



Saturday 13th April 2019 7pm

Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh IP15 5BN



Monday 15th April 2019 3pm

Quay Theatre, Sudbury, CO10 2AN



Tuesday 16th April 4pm & 7pm Wednesday 17th April 1pm

Wilton’s Music Hall, London E1 8JB



Thursday 18th April 2019 2.30pm

Exeter Phoenix, EX4 3LS



Friday 19th April 2019 3pm

The Acorn, Penzance TR18 4BU



Saturday 20th April 2019 3pm

The Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, EX38 8HQ



Saturday 27th April 2.30pm

Norwich Playhouse, NR3 1AB




For more info visit our crowd funding page here

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