30th anniversary production
Produced and directed by George Critchley
Choreographed by Karen Heritage


Starred Jon Parkin (Joseph) as Dr Barnardo, Tony Howes (Midsommer Murders/Doctors) as Charlie The Busker, Jennifer Redston as Syrie Barnardo,George Critchley as Lord Shaftesbury and PC Hartle.
Featured 36 talented young people from all over the North East of England including David Jackson as Carrots, Sam Terry as Nobby and Izaac Oliver as Titch.

“Heart wrenching!”

“A fantastic production, with lovely songs that we sang all the way home from the theatre”.

“The Police scene was so funny”.

News and reviews about Carrots


Carrots – a musical

The Story of Dr Barnardo

Carrots Poster






DR Barnardo is one of this country’s forgotten heroes and even though his charity is one we all know today, local writer and composer, Peter Canwell has brought the history to life with a captivating tale seen through the eyes of a child.

Dr Thomas Barnado set up the first Barnardo’s home when he witnessed the wretchedness and suffering of children after devastating outbreaks of cholera in the 19th Century that left many homeless, alone and destitute. This production, based on a true story, detailing the life and death of an 11- year-old ginger-haired boy, Carrots, and the many orphan children who lived rough on the streets of London in 1866, will certainly warm your heart.

David Jackson is just 11 years old, his performance of Carrots is exceptional, with his mature acting skills, confident singing voice and a very good cockney accent. His fellow orphans, the roof-top kids, are all from the North-East, with their ages ranging from ten to 14. All 24 have perfected their cockney accents and all deserve a mention for their sheer commitment, energy and their superb talent.

Special mention also is due to Harriet Blundell, for her brilliantly brusque Alfie, the fabulous voice of Michael Rice as The Bread Boy, Michael Tyman’s outstanding performance as Skin and, capturing the ahhhh factor, Isaak Oliver at the cheeky boy, Titch.

Five professional actors are supporting this production led by Jonathan Parkin as Barnardo who belted out some of the songs.

Tony Howes gives Charlie the busker much character with his funny pantomime style. Jennifer Redston’s delightful voice gave us a very warm and watchable Syrie Barnardo, but my favourite was Richard Foster-King’s quirky copper; his singing, act ing and dancing were absolutely spot on.

It’s certainly worth seeing; the kids are all fantastic with a paramount energy that really does give this show life.

Northern Echo (18th August, 2008 – this review has been edited)

"What a brilliant show!"