Open this Sheffield theatre cabinet for laughter and tall tales

A young theatre company with links to the city are kicking off a tour of their acclaimed interactive musical comedy in Sheffield.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 16:36 pm
Updated Monday, 28th January 2019, 16:38 pm
The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Th at Theatre Deli, Sheffield

Riddlestick Theatre are a young South West-based company who say they “play with past and present, fiddle with fact and fiction, and toy with traditional forms of tale-telling”.

They aim to make audiences laugh and think and tap their toes with their boisterous and inventive shows.

The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Th at Theatre Deli, Sheffield

Audiences at the show meet the eccentric 18th-century explorer, Madame Fanny, and take their pick from the weird and wonderful souvenirs in her cabinet of curiosities.

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For whichever curio they choose, Fanny and her servants perform the elaborate tale behind it, taking the audience on a voyage of hilarity.

From battling with pirates to partying with Marie Antoinette, Fanny's (allegedly) done it all. But while she revels in telling her outrageously outlandish stories, somebody far more serious is on the way to bring her down to earth.

The show is a celebration of curiosity and story-telling, features live original music and allows the audience to hand-pick the tall tales they are told.

The show proved a hit with audiences at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and was chosen as one of The Guardian's Best Shows at the festival.

This is Riddlestick Theatre’s second show. Their debut, The Dead of Night in the Middle of Nowhere, toured festivals and theatres during 2016-17.

Company co-artistic directors Kate Stokes and Thomas Manson, who also co-wrote and perform in the show, and producer Jake McKeown all lived together in Sheffield after graduating from the University of Bristol in 2015.

They loved exploring the city and can't wait to return with the rest of the company to perform The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé.

The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé is at Theatre Deli, 202 Eyre Street, Sheffield, S1 4QZ on February 8 and 9 at 7.45pm.

Tickets cost £9 (£8 concession) and can be purchased online at or on the door. Suitable for ages 12-plus. 

Other shows featured this month at Theatre Deli celebrate diversity.

In Bi Curious George and Other Sidekicks (February 13), Professor ‘the Amazing’ Addrian is a Punch and Judy man extraordinaire. He’s also Lucy’s dad.

As a child Lucy would help with his shows, collecting money, performing tricks and even doing a stint as Curious George the monkey.

They reminisce through rose-tinted spectacles and bond over cute childhood memories. Lucy screams at her dad like a teenager and Addrian behaves like a belligerent wind-up merchant.

In Reyt Queer Do #3 (Feb 16), join Andro and Eve as they glide on a dry ice cloud back to the 80s, bringing you a party that electric dreams are made of.

The show features cabaret acts, hosted by drag king Louis Cyfer.

Pink Lemonade (Feb 22) is performed to a backdrop of verbatim dialogue, poetry and sound.

The show explores black masculinity, lesbianism and racial fetishism and poses the question, how can we ever truly be ourselves when society constantly tells us how to perform?