Seven Stories Goes On the Road for One Final Weekend of Family Fun

Families can experience Seven Stories’ storytelling expertise once again as the iconic armchair makes an appearance at not one but two venues in Newcastle.

Seven Stories is thrilled to work alongside the Theatre Royal, Newcastle to support their popular performances of The Tiger Who Came To Tea which has been adapted by David Wood from Judith Kerr’s best-selling picture book into an innovative play.  The collaborative event is particularly pertinent as Seven Stories’ houses the complete archive of Judith Kerr, author of this household classic which has been in print for over 40 years.  Families booked onto the production at the Theatre Royal are invited to come along beforehand and take part in storytelling sessions and children can create their own tiger masks in the Olivier Suite on both Friday 3 and Saturday 4 July.  

The final stop on Seven Stories’ On the Road programme is on Sunday 5 July, 11am-5pm at neighbouring venue The Biscuit Factory to celebrate this year’s Alice in Wonderland themed Ouseburn Festival.  Sleepy Dormice and Mad Hatters are invited to take part in fabulous storytelling and make an origami white rabbit at The Biscuit Factory.  The Queen of Hearts promises to play fair as she reads from our favourite stories – all the family will leave smiling like the Cheshire Cat as they head on a biscuit hunt around the gallery following clues to see where the missing biscuits are and then heading to the cafe to claim a biscuit prize! With a Wonderland inspired menu available all day too, visitors can grab a special lunch and have their very own tea party in the gallery.

Seven Stories set out to enthuse both regular visitors and first-time families who attended the On the Road events around the region with a love of reading for pleasure and help to build excitement for the relaunch of its Visitor Centre in July.  Programme Director Alison Gwynn says, “We are thrilled to be making our final stop at the Theatre Royal and The Biscuit Factory this weekend and we are delighted to have met so many families over the past eight weeks who have shared with us their wonderful memories about Seven Stories.  We are really looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts once we reopen in a couple of weeks.”

Seven Stories has been On the Road since May shortly after their Visitor Centre closed for refurbishment work and will have partnered with 10 venues across the North East and engaged with over 2000 children and their grownups.  Seven Stories’ iconic Armchair has popped up at the seaside, deep in the woods and even at Pet’s Corner; hundreds of stories have been brought to life, multiple performances have made people laugh and thousands of animal masks, wacky specs and tropical fish have demonstrated the general public’s impressive creative flair.  The programme of public events has been successful for the National Centre who hopes to continue the roadshow format once its home in Ouseburn has reopened.

The National Centre will reopen its Visitor Centre in less than three weeks on Sunday 19 July with three dazzling new exhibitions, the bookshop will be transformed and the newly named Studio on Level one will be overrun by pirates.   The exhibitions will include Painting with Rainbows – A Michael Foreman Exhibition showcasing work by the prolific illustrator whose work spans over 50 years, and whose books have been enjoyed by generations of children.  Rhyme Around the World – A Nursery Rhyme Exhibition is a special exhibition which invites the youngest visitors to step straight into their favourite nursery rhymes, discovering how stories, song and rhyme are shared across generations all over the world. The newly named Gillian Dickinson Gallery on Level 6 will host A Bear Called Paddington. This exhibition explores the adventures of everyone’s favourite friendly bear from Deepest Peru.


Media Contact

For images, quotes or interviews please contact:

Hannah Lambert, Programming and Marketing Assistant

Seven Stories, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle. NE1 2PQ.

T: 0845 271 0777 ext. 223


Notes to Editor:

1. Seven Stories is a charity which relies on donations to help deliver all of the extraordinary activities for which they are recognised.  Public donations will help Seven Stories to build their unique Collection, bring it to life through a lively arts programme and broaden engagement through their learning, outreach and community work.  To donate to the Seven Stories’ 10th Birthday Appeal, please click here or Text READ07 followed by £amount to 07070.

2. Follow Seven Stories even while they are closed by reading their 10 Years of Seven Stories Blog

3. For more information about Theatre Royal visit the website. The performance of The Tiger Who Comes to Tea is a musical play adapted and directed by David Wood which has enjoyed a smash-hit West End season.

4. For more information about The Biscuit Factory visit the website.

5. The Ouseburn Festival is an annual event celebrating the creativity of the Ouseburn area of Newcastle and has been staged since 1996.

6. Seven Stories – National Centre for Children’s Books.

Seven Stories is the only place in Britain dedicated to the art of children’s books and the joy of reading, and one of just a few such places in the world. Our work is enjoyed by over 150,000 people every year.

Everything we do aims to inspire children and grown-ups to be curious, imaginative and creative. We strive to ensure that people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can take part to enjoy a lifetime of reading for pleasure.

Our home is a carefully converted Victorian warehouse in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. We opened in 2005 and our seven floors house galleries for exhibitions, performances and creative spaces, a specialist children’s bookshop and a café.

Seven Stories is widely recognised for our abilities and achievements. We have established an important collection of artwork, manuscripts and archives of Britain’s most acclaimed writers and illustrators for children from 1930s to the present day. We bring this unique treasure trove to life through playful and immersive exhibitions, an entertaining and informative public events programme and research opportunities.

Seven Stories was awarded National status by Arts Council England in 2012 in recognition of the significance of our Collection and its high standard of care, and the excellent way that we engage with our visitors and users. We were also awarded with a National Lottery Award in September 2013 after being voted the UK’s favourite education project.