Cornershop-imageManhattan Children’s Theatre presents
World premiere

Based on the children’s book by Clare Cockburn-Martin
Illustrated by Anna Welsh
Directed and adapted for the stage by Laura Stevens


A Little Mermaid she is not.

A fast paced, interactive comedy. A universal quest. A play for all ages.

Mermalade PosterLeft with a cryptic note, a pearl, and three annoying oysters for company, MERMALADE is determined to make sense of it all. She’s brave enough to approach the biggest forces in the universe. She’s strong enough to confront those that get in her way. But is she wise enough to find her answer?

Add three life size Oysters as narrators, cameos from the Moon, Sun, Stars, Thor (God of Thunder), a beach setting, a splattering of pop music and one strong-willed 11-year-old girl that never quits and what do you get?

Unlike traditional fairy tales, MERMALADE’s story holds no moral decree. In the Socratic Spirit, the show offers more questions than answers with WHY? being at the top of the list.

Why does everyone tell me what to do and feel?
Why is a pearl so special?
Why do I have to keep asking “WHY?”

Laura Stevens adapted Mermalade for the stage based on a children’s book written and published by Edinburgh-based writer Clare Cockburn-Martin. The script combines the voices of the two women, intertwining and diversifying to tell the tale. What is so special is that the universal themes that first touched them to create both the story and the play has produced something truly different and enduring – like a pearl itself – as well as a rare creative friendship.

“If you’re tired of Once upon a time same old, same old, you should visit Manhattan Children’s Theatre for The Last of the Dragons.” New York Times

The idea of a damsel in distress being rescued by a handsome man has been around for so long, we hardly notice it’s there. Which is exactly why it’s so damaging as a stereotype. So hurrah for Manhattan Children’s Theatre for joining a burgeoning list of storytellers re-dressing the balance.” wow24/7 **** review of The Last of the Dragons

“This is a tale of bravery, intelligence and unexpected NEW traditions. Beautifully set for the stage and directed by Laura Stevens (…) with an all-Edinburgh cast, this show will delight young and old.”  Families Edinburgh on The Last of the Dragons

Manhattan Children’s Theatre offers complimentary tickets for local youth groups for the preview dates of MERMALADE (3-4 August). Also, on non-performance days the show will be visiting local Edinburgh schools.

  Laura Stevens, who recently moved to Edinburgh from her native New York, co-founded Manhattan Children’s Theatre in 2002 and directed over 30 plays since, including theatrical productions for very young audiences (Little Tales, based on folk tales from around the world). Between 2002 and 2011,

MCT welcomed over 250,000 audience members through its doors. Laura’s production of The Last of the Dragons debuted at Fringe in 2015 to rave reviews and toured to Biggar in Scotland and Warsaw in Poland to sold-out audiences.

Now Scotland-based, the mission of Manhattan Children’s Theatre is one of providing affordable, high quality theatre entertainment to audiences in Scotland, children in particular.  

Clare Cockburn-Martin is an Edinburgh-based writer who originally wrote Mermalade for her daughter Francesca. She collaborated with illustrator Anna Welch on the project which they self-published and read to primary schools around Scotland. She met Laura Stevens at a fundraising event for the theatre.


Notes to editors:


Pleasance Courtyard (Beneath)

3-29 August at 11.15am (first review date: 3 August)

60 minutes

Suitable for children 3+

To book tickets click here.

To book review tickets for this show please contact the Pleasance Press Office on 0131 556 6557 or

For more information, pictures and interviews please contact Magda Paduch at The Corner Shop PR at / 0758 316 4070