The Bookbinder

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Family Theatre

Language: English
Director: Hannah Smith
Written By: Ralph McCubbin Howell
Featured Artists: Ralph McCubbin Howell
Company: Trick of the Light Theatre

Designer: Hannah Smith
Sound Design and Composition: Tane Upjohn-Beatson

They say you can get lost in a good book. But it’s worse to get lost in a bad one…

A story of mystery, magic and mayhem from award-winning New Zealand theatre company Trick of the Light. An old man sits down to read the tale of an erstwhile bookbinding apprentice. As he speaks, the story spills from the pages and into the bindery…

From pop-up book to puppetry, story-telling to live action, The Bookbinder weaves an original dark fairy-tale in the vein of Neil Gaiman. From writer and performer Ralph McCubbin Howell, and director and designer Hannah Smith, this production is an inventive one-man performance for adventurous adults and curious children 8 years and older.

The Bookbinder won the International Excellence Award at the Sydney Fringe and BDO Children’s Theatre Award at Fringe World in Perth. It has toured internationally, including to the UK and the US. ‘A beautiful, articulate and engaging show that is as engaging as it is mysterious’ –, Edinburgh



  1. 30 June 2019 at 1:23 pm

    ‪#thebookbinder was UTTERLY MAGICAL! If you’re at #NAF19 please go. Thank me later. Wow.‬

  2. p.t.bateman-1049 30 June 2019 at 4:24 pm

    If you’re looking for sheer magic on stage at #NAF19 then “The Bookbinder” is a must. Hannah Smith’s elegant storytelling and Ralph McCubbin Howell’s masterful ability to bring the story to life for children and adults alike will have you spellbound from ‘cover to cover’ especially as we explore the implications of that one elusive page that slips provocatively out of the book!

  3. sterry 1 July 2019 at 12:00 am

    Absolutely incredible!!!! Loved every second.

  4. lindsayklein82 1 July 2019 at 8:05 am

    This is the one show you MUST NOT miss at NAF 2019. So much magic on stage xx

  5. kerbob7 1 July 2019 at 1:30 pm


  6. music.elise 1 July 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Astoundingly beautiful!!! Loved everything about the performance!

  7. eugenemalan 2 July 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Great storytelling and lovely story. Thanks.

  8. janemjroberts 4 July 2019 at 1:25 pm

    A story teller like no other! Brilliant actor, use of props and that pop-up book was amazing. Be sure to sit on the right of the stage cause the desk lamp obscured the view quite a bit if you’re sitting on the left.

  9. info-6560 6 July 2019 at 11:19 am

    A must see show. worth evert cent and minute. Top class

  10. robertonthego 6 July 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Great piece of theatre and story telling. Loved the use of the single desk lamp as the main source of lighting. Enjoyed every minute.

  11. mayabrits 7 July 2019 at 11:10 pm

    An outstanding performance that had me drawn in and thrilled throughout. Such an exceptional storyteller, a magical and meaningful story and creative use of light. Ralph McCubbin Howell and his team are brilliant!
    Hoping that Trick of the Light Theatre return to NAF

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