Eve De Leon Allen stars in The Olivier-nominated theatre company Les Enfants Terribles and HOME Manchester’s London premiere of their highly acclaimed co-production The House with Chicken Legs this Winter with a Christmas holiday run at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall from 13 until 30 December 2023.
Bringing Sophie Anderson’s best-selling novel to life, this critically acclaimed show transports audiences to a world inspired by Baba Yaga through live music, intricate puppetry and projection. The story follows Marinka, a young girl who dreams of a normal life, where she can stay somewhere long enough to make friends; but there’s one problem – her house has chicken legs and moves on without warning. The show is funny, thought-provoking and full of life as it deftly navigates the complexities of loss from a whole new perspective.
The cast of The House with Chicken Legs is Eve de Leon Allen as Marinka, Lisa Howard as Baba, Dan Willisas Jackdaw, Michael Barker as Ben, Elouise Warboys as Nina and Stephanie Levi-John as Yaga, all of whom currently star in the production’s Autumn tour.
You’re starring in The House with Chicken legs at Queen Elizabeth Hall, what can you tell us about the show?
The House with Chicken Legs is a beautiful, funny, and emotional show filled with music and passion. It follows Marinka, a 12 year old who lives with her grandmother Baba Yaga (a witch who guides the dead to the stars). She wants a life of her own, but the house keeps moving! It’s adapted from the YA novel by Sophie Anderson and is a truly touching story about growing up, family, rebellion, death and forging your own path.
What was it about Les Enfants Terribles and HOME Manchester’s co-production that made you so keen to be a part of it?
Prior to doing the show last year at HOME, I’d come across Les Enfants Terribles when they were doing Alice’s Adventures Underground in London in 2017. When I got the audition material for The House With Chicken Legs, and read the book, I was blown away by the beauty of it and knew that I desperately wanted to be a part of it! The production last year was such a joyful and fulfilling experience, I couldn’t have said no when I was asked to come back for the tour! This show has my heart and soul.
How well do you think the stage adaptation brings Sophie Anderson’s best-selling novel to life?
Sophie’s novel is so detailed and fantastical, that anyone would have a hard time figuring out how to fit all of it into 2.5 hours, but I like to think we’ve done it very well. The relationships between the characters in the show have really stayed true to the novel, which is the most important thing. Everything else like the set and costumes is a bonus! I truly believe that we’ve captured the essence of the novel.
You play Marinka, tell us a little about the character and what you’re loving about the role?
What’s not to love about Marinka! She’s feisty, unique, and has so much heart. It’s so much fun to play a character that is so free and wild. She’s a very complex character; she’s battling between who she wants to be, and who she’s expected to become, and for a 12 year old, that’s an insane amount of pressure.
And what do you think will be most challenging?
The most challenging thing is making sure that her darker emotions come across while still finding youthfulness and energy, without making her 2D. She’s a child, and children have a more complex range of thoughts and emotions than we tend to give them credit for.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see The House With Chicken Legs?
If you’re coming to see the show, get ready for a night of magic, heart and wackiness. It’s honestly like nothing you’ve ever seen before!