Suitable for ages 3+, especially suitable for ages 7-11.
Starring Kate Madison and Chip Colquhoun
and introducing Izzy Dawson
Set and costume design by Jennifer Stevens, aided by pupils from St Mary's Junior School, Ely
Digital art by Jack Stevens
Graphic art by Dave Hingley
Make-up design by Emma Sutcliffe
Puppets by Anthony Lund
Lyre produced by StryreInstruments
Rural tour tech support from Peter Grainger
Based on an English folk tale originally collected by
WH Barrett and dramatised for families by Chip Colquhoun
with additional story ideas from pupils of
St Andrew's Primary School, Soham
Littleport Community Primary School
and Millfield Primary School, Littleport
Click here for audience comments, reviews and tickets!
Click here for our Tour Pack.

Vikings, giants and magic await you in this fun-packed historical adventure that's rammed full of engaging storytelling, lively music on an ancient instrument…
and plenty of joining in!

Ethelred misses his mum. She was stolen from him by something worse than Vikings. So when a stranger asks his dad for a bed for the night, he is naturally nervous.


But when the stranger and Ethelred start sharing stories of giants, frogs and magic, it isn’t long before they discover surprising secrets about each other...

Will Ethelred get his mum back? How will his adventure affect the future of the country of England?
And just why is the king dressed like that?


Based on a millennium-old English folk tale about bridging cultural divides, and comprising original stories created by children aged 7-11, The First King of England in a Dress
explores the power of storytelling to unite us all.

As seen at Glastonbury Festival 2017, Jorvik Viking Festival 2017, Buckfast Abbey Storytelling Festival 2018, and many more venues across the country.

Written by Chip Colquhoun – storyteller for the Oxford Reading Tree, author of 3 books for children available in all good bookshops, and author of the EU’s guidance on using storytelling in the classroom.



Click the publication names below to read what their reviews – and watch our video to see what audiences had to say!


Ely Standard, Nov 2017

Primary Times Edinburgh, Aug 2019 (NB: review of the festival edition)

Edinburgh49, Aug 2019 (NB: review of the festival edition)

Upcoming Performances

Where tickets are available, click to go to the box office (links open in new windows/tabs).
2nd May 2020 at The Place, Bedford

Previous Performances

30th Nov 2016 – The Maltings, Ely (press preview)

4th Dec 2016 – The Cambridge Guildhall

14th Jan 2017 – Kirtling Village Hall

3rd Feb 2017 – Ely Cathedral

9th Apr 2017 – Littleport Village Hall

1st Jun 2017 – Harrogate Library

17th Jun 2017 – Haddenham Galleries

24th & 25th Jun 2017 – Glastonbury Festival

16th Jul 2017 – Winchester Discovery Centre

18th Aug 2017 – The Artrix, Bromsgrove

28th Aug 2017 – Greenbelt Festival

8th Oct 2017 – Tenterden Folk Festival

25th Oct 2017 – Limelight Theatre, Aylesbury

26th Oct 2017 – Trinity Arts Centre, Gainsborough

27th Oct 2017 – Lincoln Drill Hall

1st Nov 2017 – Histon & Impington Junior School

2nd Nov 2017 – Ely Library

3rd Nov 2017 – Huntingdon Library

8th Jul 2018 – Buckfast Abbey Storytelling Festival

1st Aug 2018 – Huntingdon Library

17th Nov 2019 – Arbury Court Library

23rd Mar 2019 – Wyton Community Primary School

13th Jul 2019 – "BamFest" @ Bamford Academy, Rochdale

12th–24th Aug 2019 – theSpace Triplex, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Booking Information

Target audience:  Ages 7+ (suitable for ages 3+)

Running time:  120min including interval
(also available as a 50min “festival edition”)

Performances:  Maximum two per day

Space requirements:  Suitable for theatre & community spaces

Number in touring company:  3, including one minor (aged 15)

Touring availability:  Sep 2019 to Apr 2021


Playing area:
Recommended W-16'/4.88m, D-12'/3.66m, H-8'/2.44m

NB: The show is designed to be adaptable to smaller/larger performance spaces. Epic Tales will provide all scenery and props.

Compressed air cannon:

Epic Tales will provide one confetti cannon fired with compressed air. The cannon releases streamers which are caught onstage – no mess enters the auditorium.

Lighting:  Plan available on request.

Sound:  Cue sheet and CD/downloadable sound files available on request. DI required for electric instrument and 3 head mics.

NB: Epic Tales can provide its own technical crew, lighting, and PA for rural/community performances.

Click here to download a PDF Tour Pack.

To enquire about booking this production for your venue, please click here.

For further publicity materials, including videos and performer bios, please visit our promotional Dropbox by clicking here.


Proving the power of storytelling

Copyright © 2020 Epic Tales

Epic Tales is the trading name of Epic Storytelling Ltd, a limited liability social enterprise registered in England & Wales No.11867069.
Its registered office is at 43 Norfolk Road, Wyton, Huntingdon PE28 2EF.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Vimeo