“I Was A Rat!” insists a scruffy page boy who turns up one evening on the doorstep of old married couple Bob and Joan. But what is he now? A terrifying monster rampaging in the sewers? A money-spinning fairground freak? A champion wriggler and a downy card? Or just an ordinary boy, though a little ratty in his habits?

Philip Pullman’s glorious and gripping story is brought to life on the professional stage for the first time in the UK. Combining humour, fantasy, and adventure this moving and darkly comic tale slowly reveals its connection to one of the most famous fairy tales of all time. Full of music, fantastic physical performances and unforgettable images I Was A Rat! will surprise, delight and move audiences of all ages.

Adapted and directed by Teresa Ludovico, artistic director of Teatro Kismet in Bari, Southern Italy, best known here for her thrilling visual and physical productions of Beauty and the Beast, The Snow Queen and The Mermaid Princess.

Lightset design by Vincent Longuemare
Costume design by Luigi Spezzacatene
Composer: Frank Moon
Music: Recorded by members of The Destroyers, with additional music played live by members of the company
Movement Director: Yann Seabra
Sound Design by Dan Hoole
Produced in association with Judy Owen Ltd


It is a show to please all ages, it is supremely theatrical, and it has a heart.
The Telegraph

Genuine wit and style
The Guardian

It seems an oddball choice for a 100th-anniversary production, but it’s not long into this frisky stage version of Philip Pullman’s 1999 children’s story before you sniff a hit.
The Sunday Times

I Was a Rat! suits all ages in its fantastically original theatricality and exuberant warmth and humour.
London Theatre Reviews

Funny and poignant by turns.
Birmingham Mail

Yet another outstanding production for the REP.
The Public Reviews

A superb evening of entertainment.
What’s On Stage

I can’t think of a better show to encourage youngsters to return to the theatre, which is surely the secret to the success of a venue which has lasted 100 years.
Solihull News

I’ve phoned everybody I can think of to say don’t miss it. Just don’t.
Lichfield Live

An inspired choice by Birmingham Rep, which in its centenary year, is still setting the standard for other theatres to follow.
Express and Star

Date Time Venue Notes Prices Booking

The Old Rep

  • Address: Station Street, (Nearest car park is on Dudley Street), Birmingham, B5 4DY
  • Box Office: 0121 236 4455
  • Phone: 0121 236 4455
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