Laika the Spacedog

Award-winning interactive opera for children aged 7–11 and their families returns to the UK in Spring 2016.

Laika the Spacedog flies again in Spring 2016, touring across the UK to schools and other venues. The opera toured the country in 2013 to great acclaim, and in the autumn of that year travelled to Szeged in Hungary, where it won the Jury Prize and the University Prize as Best Production of the mainstream Armel Opera Festival. It was then performed at the Opéra Grand in Avignon. The opera also won the PRS David Bedford Music Education Award.

Watch a photo essay showing the journey of the production, from making and rehearsal to its first performance:

Written for children and family audiences, it is designed for Key Stage 2 in primary schools, and incorporates many areas of the curriculum, including science, history and literacy as well as music. The music is by Russell Hepplewhite, words and direction by Tim Yealland, design by Jude Munden, and animation by Babis Alexiadis.

The opera’s thrilling story is told in many diverse ways by nine professional performers – and also includes archive film, filmed animation (created with children) and puppetry. The characters include the idealistic young student Mikhael, the great scientist Korolev, the dog-hating Valentina, and of course the little dog herself. The piece features also a specially made theremin (the original electronic instrument), along with percussion, clarinet, cello and bassoon.

The action takes us from an apartment in Moscow to Gorky Park, to the Kremlin (where we meet President Khrushchev), and finally to the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, brought to life with stunning design, and from where we launch the famous Sputnik rockets. The piece is highly interactive, and includes songs for everyone. A comprehensive teachers’ pack and CD support the project.


Showing At

  1. Constantine School, Truro
    16th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm
  2. Corpus Christi Primary School
    17th Mar 2016 - 1:30 pm
  3. St James Primary School
    18th Mar 2016 - 1:30 pm
  4. Hamworth Library
    19th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm
  5. Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, Norwich
    23rd Mar 2016 - 10:30 am
  6. Norwich
    24th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  7. Ovalhouse Theatre, London
    29th Mar 2016 - 11:00 am
  8. Ovalhouse Theatre, London
    29th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm
  9. Ovalhouse Theatre, London
    30th Mar 2016 - 11:00 am
  10. Ovalhouse Theatre, London
    30th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm
  11. Riverside Library Heritage and Arts, Rotherham
    5th Apr 2016 - 1:00 pm
  12. Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh
    6th Apr 2016 - 6:00 pm
  13. Winchcombe Abbey Primary School
    12th Apr 2016 - 1:45 pm
  14. Gladstone Park Primary School
    18th Apr 2016 - 11:05 am
  15. Southbank School
    19th Apr 2016 - 12:00 pm
  16. St Luke's Primary School
    22nd Apr 2016 - 1:45 pm
  17. Milton Road Primary School, Cambridge
    26th Apr 2016 - 12:00 pm
  18. Gatehouse School
    3rd May 2016 - 12:00 pm
  19. The Marlowe Theatre Studio, Canterbury
    6th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  20. Chatham Library
    7th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  21. East Park Primary School, Wolverhampton
    10th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  22. Highfield Academy Theatre
    14th May 2016 - 12:00 pm
  23. Harton Primary School, South Shields
    17th May 2016 - 2:00 pm
  24. Sacred Heart Catholic High School, Newcastle
    18th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  25. Rattray Primary School
    19th May 2016 - 12:00 pm
  26. Newton Poppleford Primary School, Devon
    24th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  27. Ladysmith Junior School
    25th May 2016 - 1:45 pm
  28. Barley Lane School, Exeter
    26th May 2016 - 11:15 am
  29. Explore Acomb, York
    4th Jun 2016 - 1:30 pm
  30. Stoke Music Service
    6th Jun 2016 - 1:30 pm
  31. Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven
    11th Jun 2016 - 2:00 pm
  32. ROH Thurrock
    13th Jun 2016 - 10:30 am
  33. ROH Thurrock
    13th Jun 2016 - 1:00 pm
  34. ROH Thurrock
    14th Jun 2016 - 10:30 am
  35. ROH Thurrock
    14th Jun 2016 - 1:00 pm
  1. Constantine School, Truro — 16th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm

    Trebarvah Road, Constantine, TR11 5AG

  2. Corpus Christi Primary School — 17th Mar 2016 - 1:30 pm

    Croydon, Croydon

  3. St James Primary School — 18th Mar 2016 - 1:30 pm

    BH7 6DW

  4. Hamworth Library — 19th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm

    bh15 4bg

  5. Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, Norwich — 23rd Mar 2016 - 10:30 am

    Cottinghams Drive, Hellesdon, Norwich, NR6 6QA

  6. Norwich — 24th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

    NR2 1RL

  7. Ovalhouse Theatre, London — 29th Mar 2016 - 11:00 am

    52-54 Kennington Oval, London, SE11 5SW

  8. Ovalhouse Theatre, London — 29th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm

    52-54 Kennington Oval, London, SE11 5SW

  9. Ovalhouse Theatre, London — 30th Mar 2016 - 11:00 am

    52-54 Kennington Oval, London, SE11 5SW

  10. Ovalhouse Theatre, London — 30th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm

    52-54 Kennington Oval, London, SE11 5SW

  11. Riverside Library Heritage and Arts, Rotherham — 5th Apr 2016 - 1:00 pm

    Main Street, Rotherham, S60 1AE

  12. Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh — 6th Apr 2016 - 6:00 pm

    Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP15 5BN

  13. Winchcombe Abbey Primary School — 12th Apr 2016 - 1:45 pm

    Back Lane, Winchcombe, Cheltenham, GL54 5PZ

  14. Gladstone Park Primary School — 18th Apr 2016 - 11:05 am

    nw10 1lb

  15. Southbank School — 19th Apr 2016 - 12:00 pm

    W1B 1QR

  16. St Luke's Primary School — 22nd Apr 2016 - 1:45 pm

    SK13 7BS

  17. Milton Road Primary School, Cambridge — 26th Apr 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Ascham Road, Cambridge, CB4 2BD

  18. Gatehouse School — 3rd May 2016 - 12:00 pm

    e2 9jg

  19. The Marlowe Theatre Studio, Canterbury — 6th May 2016 - 1:30 pm

    CT1 2AS

  20. Chatham Library — 7th May 2016 - 1:30 pm

    ME4 4TX

  21. East Park Primary School, Wolverhampton — 10th May 2016 - 1:30 pm

    Hollington Road, Wolverhampton, WV1 2DS

  22. Highfield Academy Theatre — 14th May 2016 - 12:00 pm

    FY4 3JZ

  23. Harton Primary School, South Shields — 17th May 2016 - 2:00 pm

    East Avenue, South Shields, NE34 6PF

  24. Sacred Heart Catholic High School, Newcastle — 18th May 2016 - 1:30 pm

    NE4 9YH

  25. Rattray Primary School — 19th May 2016 - 12:00 pm

    PH1 1DF

  26. Newton Poppleford Primary School, Devon — 24th May 2016 - 1:30 pm

    School Lane, Newton Poppleford, Sidmouth, EX10 0EL

  27. Ladysmith Junior School — 25th May 2016 - 1:45 pm

    EX1 2PT

  28. Barley Lane School, Exeter — 26th May 2016 - 11:15 am

    Exeter, EX4 1TA

  29. Explore Acomb, York — 4th Jun 2016 - 1:30 pm

    yo24 3BZ

  30. Stoke Music Service — 6th Jun 2016 - 1:30 pm

    ST2 8DD

  31. Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven — 11th Jun 2016 - 2:00 pm

    CA28 6SE

  32. ROH Thurrock — 13th Jun 2016 - 10:30 am

    Thameside Theatre, Orsett Road, RM17 5DX

  33. ROH Thurrock — 13th Jun 2016 - 1:00 pm

    Thameside Theatre, Orsett Road, RM17 5DX

  34. ROH Thurrock — 14th Jun 2016 - 10:30 am

    Thameside Theatre, Orsett Road, RM17 5DX

  35. ROH Thurrock — 14th Jun 2016 - 1:00 pm

    Thameside Theatre, Orsett Road, RM17 5DX

It was stunning! Visually very effective. Amazing how such a small company and simple set can bring the story to life in such a creative and captivating way. We loved trying to use our voices in an operatic way and were amazed at the sounds that can come out of our bodies. Learning about the story of Laika provoked a wonderful discussion about ethics, animal rights and testing in the name of science. Information provided in advance was very useful. Thank you!

Teacher, Arbury Primary School, Cambridge

I love opera now. What have I been missing?

Callum, age 10

Absolutely brilliant! Best we have ever had. Opera is a difficult area – children have preconceived ideas that it’s posh. You dispelled the myths. It was awe inspiring and the children were open-mouthed with the whole experience.

Headteacher, Uplands Junior School, Wolverhampton

Showing At

  1. Constantine School, Truro
    16th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm
  2. Corpus Christi Primary School
    17th Mar 2016 - 1:30 pm
  3. St James Primary School
    18th Mar 2016 - 1:30 pm
  4. Hamworth Library
    19th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm
  5. Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, Norwich
    23rd Mar 2016 - 10:30 am
  6. Norwich
    24th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  7. Ovalhouse Theatre, London
    29th Mar 2016 - 11:00 am
  8. Ovalhouse Theatre, London
    29th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm
  9. Ovalhouse Theatre, London
    30th Mar 2016 - 11:00 am
  10. Ovalhouse Theatre, London
    30th Mar 2016 - 2:00 pm
  11. Riverside Library Heritage and Arts, Rotherham
    5th Apr 2016 - 1:00 pm
  12. Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh
    6th Apr 2016 - 6:00 pm
  13. Winchcombe Abbey Primary School
    12th Apr 2016 - 1:45 pm
  14. Gladstone Park Primary School
    18th Apr 2016 - 11:05 am
  15. Southbank School
    19th Apr 2016 - 12:00 pm
  16. St Luke's Primary School
    22nd Apr 2016 - 1:45 pm
  17. Milton Road Primary School, Cambridge
    26th Apr 2016 - 12:00 pm
  18. Gatehouse School
    3rd May 2016 - 12:00 pm
  19. The Marlowe Theatre Studio, Canterbury
    6th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  20. Chatham Library
    7th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  21. East Park Primary School, Wolverhampton
    10th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  22. Highfield Academy Theatre
    14th May 2016 - 12:00 pm
  23. Harton Primary School, South Shields
    17th May 2016 - 2:00 pm
  24. Sacred Heart Catholic High School, Newcastle
    18th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  25. Rattray Primary School
    19th May 2016 - 12:00 pm
  26. Newton Poppleford Primary School, Devon
    24th May 2016 - 1:30 pm
  27. Ladysmith Junior School
    25th May 2016 - 1:45 pm
  28. Barley Lane School, Exeter
    26th May 2016 - 11:15 am
  29. Explore Acomb, York
    4th Jun 2016 - 1:30 pm
  30. Stoke Music Service
    6th Jun 2016 - 1:30 pm
  31. Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven
    11th Jun 2016 - 2:00 pm
  32. ROH Thurrock
    13th Jun 2016 - 10:30 am
  33. ROH Thurrock
    13th Jun 2016 - 1:00 pm
  34. ROH Thurrock
    14th Jun 2016 - 10:30 am
  35. ROH Thurrock
    14th Jun 2016 - 1:00 pm

Your Comments

  1. I am looking to introduce opera to schools in my area...age Up to11 ... ??? Information would be of interest many thanks Barbara Murray. Young Arts...H.D.F.A.S

    Said Barbara Murray at 13:36pm on 20th Mar 2016

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