McFly’s Tom Fletcher brings his ‘Monster hit’ to the Playhouse

5 Apr 2024


Pop star and bestselling children’s author Tom Fletcher tells us about There’s A Monster in Your Show, which comes to our Courtyard theatre on 9-12 April

“I’m hoping for absolute chaos!” It’s an unusual aspiration for the creative mind behind a new musical to want from his audience – especially when he adds that he wants the audience to be “shouting out and jumping up and down and singing along and clapping.”

It’s a far cry from the usual hushed theatre experience, but Tom Fletcher, one of the UK’s bestselling authors and chart-topper with pop-rock band McFly, is not your usual playwright. As his new production, There’s A Monster in Your Show, leaps from the pages of his beloved Who’s in Your Book? series onto the Courtyard stage, he’s hoping the high-energy, 50-minute show will help to cement a love of theatre in pre-school children’s hearts.

“I want kids to feel this is a show that they are a part of, not just coming to watch,” Fletcher says as he meets the cuddly Monster puppet with his own three children. “This isn’t going to be a ‘sit down and be quiet’ kind of show. There’s a lot of mischief in the book, and the show is not going to go according to plan either! Certain monsters will require the audience’s help to get the show back on track. This might be some children’s first trip to the theatre, and I want no other theatrical experience to ever live up to it!”

The musical play sees Little Monster and his friends Dragon, Alien and Unicorn learning about the joy of books and friendship – and the power of a great story. The production comes from the makers of hits including Twirlywoos Live, Sarah & Duck and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, with many of the brilliantly catchy songs in the show composed by Fletcher.

He first found fame with McFly’s hit 5 Colours in Her Hair in 2004. His bestselling books, meanwhile, have been translated into forty languages. There’s a Monster in Your Book, the inspiration for the new show, was the first book Fletcher ever wrote.

“I sketched out a version years ago, and then made it into an interactive book which I gave to my bandmates,” he remembers. “I wish I’d filmed their reaction, because as I watched them say ‘ooh, look there’s a monster!’ and then shake the book and turn it over to find him, they all cracked up laughing. I figured that my 20-something bandmates had the same sense of humour as three-year-olds, so it was probably going to work!”

He’s now thrilled to see his words come to life in theatres. “I remember going to see Sooty and Button Moon when I was little. I often went to my local community theatres and, when I was a bit older, I went to see Jason Donovan in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and it changed my life. I decided then and there that I was going to be on stage doing what the children in Joseph were doing – and within a few years I was playing Oliver on the Palladium stage. Theatre trips definitely set me off on the course of my life.”

Fletcher reveals that his packed schedule saw him record demos of some of the There’s a Monster in Your Show songs in the back of a car during a six-hour drive from Leeds to Margate during McFly’s UK tour. He’s a famously hands-on dad to his three kids with wife Giovanna Fletcher, also a successful author and podcaster, as well as having achieved 10 UK number one singles with McFly, written scores of books and making numerous appearances on TV. How does he do it all?

“It’s full on,” he grins. “Today the kids came to work with me to do a workshop on There’s a Monster in Your Show, as they’re on school holidays. The second they are in bed I’ll be in my studio writing until I fall asleep at my keyboard. But I feel so lucky to be able to do it all. If that means I have to sacrifice sleep, have bad blood pressure and feel slightly stressed, then I’ll just eat lots of broccoli and hope for the best! Monster is going to be an amazing show; I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”


    Arts Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • LTB Foundation
  • Principal Partner

    Caddick Group
  • Principal Access Partner

    Irwin Mitchell