Selladoor Worldwide is developing a stage adaptation of the CBeebies show Pablo, which is the first animated TV series to star an autistic character.
The children’s series, produced by Paper Owl Films and shown on CBeebies, is also the first TV programme to feature an all-autistic cast.
Now, Selladoor Creation, the company’s producing arm, is creating a stage version of Pablo with Paper Owl and with funding from Arts Council England. It is developing the show at the Landmark Theatre in Devon, which Selladoor operates, ahead of a 2020 UK tour.
The stage production’s cast and creative team will include individuals who are on the autistic spectrum.
Pablo follows a five-year-old autistic boy who draws imaginary animal friends, which come to life to help him handle real-life situations that make him feel anxious, such as going to the supermarket or going for a haircut.
The CBeebies series, which first aired in 2017, has been praised for representing autism on TV and for its positive portrayal.
Anna Fox, head of new work for Selladoor Creation, said: “This is such an exciting and important project. Pablo brought a whole new voice to the autism conversation when it first came to our TV screens in 2017 and we want to continue that conversation into the world of theatre.”
It will be the first production Selladoor has developed at the Landmark, which it took over the operation of earlier this year alongside fellow Devon venue the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple.
The theatre company said it hopes to develop more work at the Landmark in future.