Funding success for Le Navet Bete

Published March 9, 2016

Funding Success For Le Navet Bete

Funding success for the South West’s much loved physical comedy theatre company Le Navet Bete as they bring back The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in a tornado of laughter.


Fresh off the back of their hugely successful Christmas show run of Robin Hood & His Merry Men at the Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, Exeter based Le Navet Bete have been successful in their latest Grants for the Arts funding application from Arts Council England to re-tour their previous smash hit show The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and to create and tour nationally a brand new feature length show debuting in Spring 2017. In co-production with the Barbican Theatre, Oz will tour regionally across the South West to theatres, arts centres, village halls and schools between Apr and Jun 2016 giving more audiences the opportunity to see this show which enjoyed a sell-out four week run in Plymouth over Christmas 2014.

Join Dorothy and Toto on their fantastical and downright chaotic travels along the Road of Yellow Bricks meeting the usual (sort of) suspects along the way – an unbelievably idiotic Scarecrow, a Tin Man straight from under the Iron Curtain and a Lion whose West-End dreams seem just Over The Rainbow – as well as some characters you might not expect…Will they make it to the Emerald City or will the Mighty Oz and his powerful Green Army stop them in their tracks? Will Shirley the Wicked Witch of the West be slightly more ‘wicked’ than you could ever imagine? Will a squadron of Winged Monkeys end up in your lap? Directed by Mark Laville, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a show for the whole family to enjoy. Prepare yourselves for a physical comedy bonanza full of ridiculous characters, live music and song, hilarious dances, utter stupidity and much more. This really is a long, long way from Kansas…

As well as re-touring Oz the company have been given the funding to develop a new madcap show for the beginning of 2017. For the third time Le Navet Bete will work under the direction of one of the UK’s funniest theatre directors, John Nicholson of acclaimed comedy theatre company Peepolykus.

Nick Bunt, co-artistic director of Le Navet Bete, said “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this grant from Arts Council England and to be bringing Oz back for more people to enjoy. There was a huge demand for it so it seemed the natural thing to do. With on going support from Exeter City Council and our loyal new and existing audiences this is just an incredible belief in our work and what we do. And with the new show for 2017, we already know what it will be but we can’t give too many surprises away at once now can we?!”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said: ‘Le Navet Bete produces brilliant accessible theatre shows that audiences really enjoy. Our Grants for the arts scheme supports artists and arts organisations to bring great art to everyone and it’s particularly pleasing that this award will support two shows developed in the south west as they tour in the region and nationally.’

Catch Le Navet Bete’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Exeter Phoenix Thu 14 – Sat 16 Apr.