Baba Yaga

A deliciously dark and funny fairytale where danger skulks but safety is closer than you think...

A sister and a brother embark on an adventure to find safety and arrive in a New Place.

A New Place. Surely there will be safe here?

But shshshsh! Just beyond in a chicken-leg house, lurks the most dangerous new danger, of the snap-you-up-and gobble-you-down-if-you’re-not-careful variety. The most infamous of witches. The most unpredictable of adversaries.

The lip-smacking, chiddler-nicking, fear-smelling Baba Yaga! Stand by for magical shenanigans and belly-laughs aplenty which celebrates the brilliance and bravery of children (if you can stop shaking in your socks that is!).

A dark new fairytale, where danger skulks in the least expected corners, but safety is closer than you think.

‘Shshshsh! She’s here!’

Everyone is welcome to all performances of Baba Yaga, but the performances on Wednesday 13th April at 11am and Thursday 14th April at 2pm are particularly suitable for those with specific access needs.

Tickets: £7/group ticket £24 (4 people, minimum 1 adult)

Performance dates and times: 

Saturday 9th April – 11am and 2pm
Tuesday 12th April – 2pm
Wednesday 13th April – 11am (Integrated British Sign Language) and 2pm
Thursday 14th April – 2pm (Neurodiverse Friendly performance) and 6pm
Saturday 16th April – 11am and 2pm

Duration: 60 mins

School bookings: 

KS2 / 6+ Years
Tuesday 5th April 1.20pm
Wednesday 6th April 10am & 1pm
Thursday 7 April 10am & 1.20pm
Friday 8 April 10am & 1.20pm

Duration: 60 mins

In celebration of the reopening of The Hullabaloo, we are able to offer FREE transport for local schools coming to see our shows.

Baba Yaga is an infamous character from traditional Slavic fairytales (popular in Eastern Europe). In Western stories we know her better as the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Theatre Hullabaloo commissioned this new version of the Baba Yaga story in response to schools’ feedback about the lack of traditional tales available from other cultures.

In our version, we take a journey with 10 year old twins as they embark on an adventure to seek safety. Along the way they are forced to show great resilience and courage in order to defeat the ultimate witch. This original show will support pupils’ appreciation of common themes and conventions across a range of writing, including traditional tales. It also exploits rich cultural links, allowing us to celebrate the diverse heritage of pupils from Eastern European backgrounds.

Music, song, puppetry and adventure come together in this new show for everyone over the age of 6 years old and we particularly recommend it for Key Stage 2 pupils.

Tickets are £7 and teachers are FREE in line with ratios. Due to funding we are able to offer your school FREE transport to see this show at The Hullabaloo.

Please call Theatre Hullabaloo office on 01325 405680 for any school enquiries.


Who is Baba Yaga and why did you decide to make a show about her?

Baba Yaga is an old, female character in Slavic folktales who steals, cooks and eats her victims, usually children. She lives in a house on chicken legs, has metal teeth, flies – not on a broomstick, but in a pestle and mortar – and can speak to animals, namely her black cat. She is the ultimate fairy tale witch and her stories have inspired some of our more commonly known fairy tale witches like the witch who lives in the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. There are many stories about the Baba Yaga, some of them funny as well as a bit scary as the best fairy tale witches are!

The stories about Baba Yaga are fascinating and full of adventure and children using their ingenuity and bravery to defeat her, so this seemed like rich material to develop into a new piece for Theatre Hullabaloo. Fairy tales are important for us as we grow up as they help us think about right and wrong, teach self-reliance and make us question who to trust. They also encourage us to stretch our imaginations and think more deeply about the world around us. We also know that there are lots of families originally from Eastern Europe who live in and around Darlington and we wanted to share some of the story culture from that part of the world too.

What will the show be like?

The show is a mixture of storytelling and action, song, projection, shadow puppetry and lots of theatre magic! The main characters are twins, a brother and sister, who take it in turns to tell us about their adventures and their meeting with Baba Yaga. We go to all the locations they describe in the story, including Baba Yaga’s fantastical house, in a beautiful set design and in the children’s recollections and our imaginations. It’s fast-paced, action-packed and very funny (as well as a little bit scary). The show lasts just under an hour and there is no interval.

Baba Yaga sounds terrifying! Is the show scary?

Our version of Baba Yaga is an adventure story and yes, like all good fairy tales, there are a few bits where it gets a bit tense, but Theatre Hullabaloo are experts in making theatre for children which is intelligent and thought-provoking and we have tested the material across a long development period with a broad range of children who have been delighted by the darker bits. The important part of any story that deals with threat and evil is that the evil is overcome at the end and the children escape and triumph. Lots of children’s literature, such as the Harry Potter series, Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, deal with elements of jeopardy – we, at Theatre Hullabaloo, believe it’s an important part of growing up.

I have a nine year old and a five year old – can I bring them both to see Baba Yaga?

We strongly advise that Baba Yaga will be best enjoyed by people who are 6 years and older. It is particularly suitable for 8-12 year olds and will also be enjoyed by teens and adults. The reason we are advising 6+ is partly because of the darker elements of the folk tales, but also the play has more words and more complicated ideas than the work we make for younger children. There is lots of work at The Hullabaloo for younger children, so please do come along with your littler one to see Squidge or Secret Owl Society at the end of April.

Given the stories are from Russia and Eastern Europe, I’m wondering about my children seeing it given the current conflict situation – should I be concerned?

We are very conscious of the terrible events that are taking place currently in Ukraine and how many people are being affected by the conflict. We are also aware of how many children across the world are upset by what they are seeing on the news. Whilst the story ideas come from that part of the world, they do not directly relate to the conflict. In fact, this show has been in development for more than four years before the conflict began. Our story does look at themes around our responsibility to protect children and about the need to protect and keep people safe, so it is very much a story for now, but it is handled very sensitively and has an uplifting ending.

Meet the stars


Fran Burgoyne


Duncan Cameron


Creative Team

Laura Lindow


Laura Lindow is a Scottish Writer/Director who has proudly lived and worked in the North East of England for over 20 years.

Current projects include: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice for Northern Stage (writer); Credit for Cap-a-Pie (writer); Sugar for Open Clasp (director).

Laura was a member of The Royal Court Writers’ Group North 2017/2018, and received Journal Culture Award for Writer Of The Year 2019.
She is Associate Director for Open Clasp Theatre Company, and regularly performs as Dr Lulu McDoo, Lead Clown Doctor for Tin Arts, working with hospitalised children and their families.

Nina Hajiyianni


Nina Hajiyianni is Artistic Director of Action Transport Theatre based in Ellesmere Port, one of the leading children and young people’s theatre companies in England.

Nina has created challenging and original work for children and family audiences.

Recent work includes Adrift (a refugee fairytale) by Beverly Hancock Smith, The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps, by Murray Lachlan Young and Happily Ever After (an LGBT dance/love story for 5+ audiences based on the book King and King).

Bek Palmer

Theatre Designer

Bek trained in Performance Design at LIPA and studied Post Graduate Theatre Design at RWCMD. This is Bek’s ninth design for Theatre Hullabaloo after Spirits of the Sea, Bear & Butterfly (2015) Tiny Treasures, Luna, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Angel, The Night Pirates and My Mother Told Me Not To Stare.

Other set and costume designs include; The Birthday Party, Waiting For Godot and Betrayal (London Classic Theatre), Alfie White: Space Explorer and Lemony Snicket’s Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming (Tall Stories), What The Ladybird Heard (Kenny Wax Ltd), Shaun The Sheep (Dan Coleman), Happily Ever After (Action Transport Theatre)
Bek specialises in designing/making puppets and has also worked as an installation artist for Punchdrunk. She regularly works as Wardrobe Mistress for Qdos Pantomimes and on productions on board cruise ships.

Patrick Dineen


Will Evans

Lighting Designer

For Hullabaloo Will lit the very first show in the new theatre, ‘Bear and Butterfly’ in 2017.

Other Theatre credits include:
‘Gabriel’ (Theatre Six, National Tour), ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ (Big Wooden Horse/Nick Brooke, International Tour and West End), ‘The Snow Dragon’ (Tall Stories), ‘Why The Whales Came’ (Watford Plalace Theatre/Wizard Presents), ‘I Believe In Unicorns’ (Vaudeville, London West End and Tour), ‘The Canterbury Tales’ (Guildford Shakespeare Company), ‘Honest’ and ‘The Water Engine’ (Theatre 6), ‘La Boheme’ (Head First Productions), ‘Mudlarks’ and ’66 Books’ (Bush Theatre, London), ‘Dream Space’ (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Will is also Associate Lighting Designer on the recent National tour and West End transfer of ‘An Inspector Calls’ (National Theatre/PW Productions)