IT is now more than 30 years and 20 books since Angelina Ballerina, wearing her trademark pink tutu and matching ballet slippers took her first dance steps on the road to international celebrity.

Katharine Holabird’s twinkle-toed mouse is an established favourite of young readers all over the world and her adventures have taken her first to the screen and now to the stage.

Angelina Ballerina The Mousical, written by Miranda Lawson, is at the Mayflower Theatre this weekend and author and creator Katharine is full of praise for what Miranda has done.

“She has really brought Angelina to life,”

she enthuses. “I like the fact that there are no masks and so we can see the performers’ faces. I love the way that Angelina keeps translating into new mediums such as the theatre.”

The inspiration for the character came from Tara, Katharine’s elder daughter, who showed a boundless enthusiasm for ballet at a very tender age.

“All she wanted was a pink tutu; she was so passionate about it that it was hilarious,”

recalls Katharine. “She had this real passion for ballet and took it so seriously that it was utterly captivating.

“I’d call Angelina impulsive, emotional and passionate.

She has some very sterling qualities. She’s loyal and loving and works hard. Children identify with her because she’s constantly falling down, only to pick herself up and start all over again. She’s very positive.”

Angelina’s enthusiasms sometimes get the better of her, often landing her in scrapes from which she emerges a wiser and much happier mouse.

The stage show transports audiences to Chipping Cheddar, as Angelina and friends discover that Camembert Academy has won the opportunity to appear in their favourite television programme Dancing With Mice! It feels like a dream come true – but when the girls and boys have very different ideas for the show and just can’t seem to agree on anything, it’s up to Angelina as Dance Captain to ensure that the performance goes ahead.

  • Angelina Ballerina The Mousical runs from today until Sunday. Tickets: 023 8071 1811 or