CREATED by the same team behind 2018’s much-loved ‘Dinosaur World Live’, ‘Dragons and Mythical Beasts’ is a new kids’ show promising to bring all kinds of fabled creatures to St Helens Theatre Royal later this month.

Using spectacular puppets and puppetry skills to bring the monsters to life, audiences will meet the colossal Stone Troll, the mysterious Indrik and Japanese Baku as well as more familiar legends such as the adorable Unicorn and majestic Griffin.

“My daughter is obsessed with myths – Greek, Roman, Norse, they are such great stories and contain fantastic creatures,” said writer and director Derek Bond.

“Following Dinosaur World Live, the team and I were looking for the next challenge, and mythical creatures seemed like the perfect fit.

“When we were researching Dinosaur World Live we found that ancient people had discovered dinosaur fossils and thought they were dragons, or found two skeletons of different creatures in the same place and thought they were one terrifying beast, and then wrote amazing stories about them.”

It was important for Derek that the show was interactive and that children would get a chance to get up close to his creations.

He said: “In the show, we meet Chiron who trained all the great heroes in the Greek myths – Perseus, Jason, Heracles – he’s looking for some new heroes, and has some challenges for the audience to pass. Pass all six tests, and the audience will become official heroes!

“Chiron selects a ‘champion’ from the audience for each challenge, so a member of the audience has to come face to face with each creature. Some are more fearsome than others – the Baku is particularly cute – and some require a little bit of problem solving. After the show, everyone gets the opportunity to meet some of the less terrifying creatures.”

Derek was also keen to introduce the audience to some lesser known beasts such as the Stone Troll and the Japanese Baku.

“We wanted to include creatures that audiences might not have heard of before, and especially those from other cultures,” he said. “The Stone Troll is based on Norse mythology from Scandinavia and the Baku is from Japanese folklore. The Indrik features in Slavic folktales – it’s a creature with a giant horn that lives in the forest; in some pictures it was similar to a unicorn or a rhino. We have mixed it with another Slavic creature, the Leshy – a spirit of the forest, and added a touch of the legend of the Ceryneian Hind from the tasks of Heracles and created something new.

“I love the chimeras – creatures that are made of parts of other creatures. The Chimera in the tasks of Heracles was part lion, part goat, had a snake for a tail and breathed fire. It’s a lot of fun to take parts of different animals and imagine how they might fit together to make a new creature.”

From the creatures in the Harry Potter franchise to the heroes in the Percy Jackson series, children are being introduced to a fantastic array of myths and legends these days.

“Writers are always drawn back to ancient myths and legends; there is such a treasure trove to draw on,” added Derek.

Dragons and Mythical Beasts is at St Helens Theatre Royal on November 22 and 23.