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Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – the Musical!

book and lyrics by Andy Stanton
music by Jim Fortune

25 July to 31 August 2019
Running Time: Approx two hours inc. interval

Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – the Musical!

Who likes bears? Everyone likes bears! Well, not quite everyone... Mr Gum is a complete horror who hates children, animals and fun of any kind – so when a big bear called Padlock strolls into town, trouble can’t be far off. Can nine-year-old Polly and her band of misfit friends help Padlock escape the villain’s evil clutches? Or will Mr Gum and his gruesome butcher sidekick prevail?

Based on the hilariously anarchic, award-winning children’s books, Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – the Musical! promises to be an all-singing, all-dancing, occasionally-burping extravaganza for children and adults alike. Author Andy Stanton creates the book and lyrics, with music by Jim Fortune (Pericles).

Full of outlandish characters and joyful, utterly idiotic songs, this production is definitely not your average family fare.

Suitable for 7yrs+

Please note: this production contains flashing light effects.

Tickets for families
Half-price tickets for under-18s (excludes tickets under £20)

Free family activities in the foyer one hour before each 2pm performance. (except on Saturday 17 August)

Buy the book
Discover the original novel of Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear and other books by Andy Stanton from our online shop. Every purchase supports the work of the National Theatre.

Family Events

Explore the world of Mr Gum (relaxed workshop) Sat 17 Aug, 11am
Mr Gum family workshop: Heroes and Villains Wed 21 Aug, 10.30am
Learn the songs of Mr Gum Thu 22 Aug, 11am
Mr Gum Family Workshop: Write Your Own Songs Wed 28 Aug, 10.30am
Mr Gum family workshop: Heroes and Villains Thu 29 Aug, 2pm


5 star rating

Inventive, mischievous and thrilling - this is how you do a kids' show

The Times
5 star rating

Endlessly inventive - a bear-illiant musical adaptation

The Stage
4 star rating

Oodles of fun. This triumphantly weird new musical will please adults and kids alike.

Time Out
4 star rating

Great fun for all ages. Bonkers, but in the best possible way.

4 star rating

Imaginative fun for ages 7 and up

The Sunday Times

Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear - the Musical! | Trailer

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Mr Gum | Andy Stanton's Top Tips for Writing a Musical

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Mr Gum | Andy Stanton's How NOT to Write a Musical

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Mr Gum | Young critics

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Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear - the Musical! ticket prices and Access performances

Ticket prices

All performances from 31 July onwards
ADULT £45.00 £35.00 £30 £25 £15
UNDER 18s £22.50 £17.50 £15 £15 £15
All Previews Thu 25 - Tue 30 Jul
ADULT £40 £30 £28 £22 £15
UNDER 18s £20 £15 £15 £15 £15


Access Performances

Relaxed performance for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment
Sat 17 August, 2pm (Tickets £15 - CLICK HERE to unlock the £15 tickets)

Audio-described performances, for blind and visually impaired people:
Fri 30 August, 7pm
Sat 31 August, 2pm preceded by a Touch Tour

Captioned performances, for deaf or hard-of-hearing people:
Tue 27 August, 2pm

Smart caption glasses

People wearing Smart Caption Glasses at a performance in the theatre

Smart caption glasses are a revolutionary new way for people with hearing loss to enjoy performances at the National Theatre. For the first time, service users can experience our productions, including this one, from any seat in any theatre.

Find out about smart caption glasses


Alan Taylor / Friday O'Leary
Richard Cant
Mr Gum
Steve Furst
Tom Giles
Billy / Captain Brazil
Helena Lymbery
Padlock / Old Granny / Dance Captain
Kate Malyon
Jonathan Ripples
Gary Wilmot

Production team


Drums/ Percussion


Joley Cragg


Violin, Guitar, Banjo, Dulcimer, Mandocello


Nick Pynn


Flute, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, Bass, Synthesiser


Ross Hughes


Keyboards/ Accordion


Tarek Merchant




Illustration by David Tazzyman

Help Centre

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For general ticket information

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