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Little Fir Tree

November 12, 2018

MEGG NICOL

I brought the idea of writing a musical called Little Fir Tree to our Writers Group a good few years ago.  The synopsis of the story that David Stoll and I had written was read out to the group and it received a general thumbs up.  That was the signal for me to go away and get writing in earnest!

It was very important to me to have that nod of approval from the group, to give me the confidence to forge ahead. Happily I am now able to report that after a gap of some years, Little Fir Tree will be aired at two staged concerts at Kings Place on 18th December, both supported by the Woodland Trust. Excitingly, Sylvester McCoy will be the narrator and we have seven actors and six musicians.

The Woodland Trust involvement came about after Alan Rickett the producer of Little Fir Tree discovered that the whole of the London Borough of Islington had been declared an Air Quality Management Area with concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter exceeding the UK air quality standards, so we decided to do something practical.

Because of my connections to the entertainment world it seemed natural to think how it might be possible to link the message about needing more trees in cities and at the same time putting on a show to raise consciousness about the subject.

That’s when the idea of using Little Fir Tree co-written by myself and David Stoll,  as a vehicle for getting the green message out there, began to form. I went to a hear talk by some of the Woodland Trust speakers at the Sainsbury’s Headquarters on ‘How trees talk to each other” and although, this was a lecture for adults, all I could think about was how children would relate to the talking trees in our show, and how we instinctively knew that trees did have an inbuilt communication system

Of course as children’s writers we know all about making that emotional connection with characters that help children make sense of their everyday lives so the first aim of the story is entertainment. That said, there are lessons to be learned. The situations that Little Tree encounters parallel those of every child, and his adventures show the power of friendship and loyalty and especially the importance of never giving up.

But importantly for the Woodland Trust the story-line reminds everyone of the value in preserving our woodland areas for the future well-being of the planet. Little Tree, for example, is not chopped down and disposed of at the end of the story (as in the original) but dug up and replanted as a symbol of growth.

I have to say that I am very excited that Little Fir Tree is growing! Wouldn’t it be fun if at the same time it might be possible to open the door to a magical world of trees that city children might not even know exists?

https://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on/family/little-fir-tree-gala-premiere/

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Buzz About Books permalink*
    November 19, 2018 3:41 pm

    How extremely exciting! A writers’ group first. Break a leg.
    Marion x

  2. November 21, 2018 3:01 pm

    I love the whole idea of ‘Little Fir Tree’ – something imaginative which grabs one’s emotional attention is just what’s needed. An inspired choice for Christmas..

  3. odetteelliott6 permalink
    December 11, 2018 11:39 am

    I’m greatly looking forward to seeing the performance of The Little Fir Tree on 18th December! Odette

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