Category: Art & Culture Dates: Thursday, 22 August 2013 to Sunday, 01 September 2013 This August will see the Southbank Centre play host to The Man Who Planted Trees, which has returned to the venue following its smash-hit run in 2011. A perfect family feast of entertainment, this play of puppetry and humour is an incredible piece of storytelling that crackles with incendiary wit. Having thrilled audiences as far afield as the Sydney Opera House and New York's Lincoln Centre Institute, The Man Who Planted Trees tells the story of an old man and his dog who sets out to restore a stretch of wasteland by populating it with trees. Multisensory elements of the show allow the audience to not only watch the old man's efforts transform into a forest, but also to smell the lavender and feel the wind and the rain, just as he does. The partly-improvised nature of the performance not only allows for some of the play's funniest scenes, it also means that families are likely to be just as thrilled with a repeat performance as they were if they visited the original run in 2011. Created in 2006 by artist Ailie Cohen and puppeteers Richard Medrington and Rick Conte, who play the man and his dog respectively, the play has received unanimous praise on its tour across the world. "It is very, very rare to find something that appeals as effortlessly to children and adults as this magical show," the Scotsman said, while the Guardian decreed the dog puppet as the "best ever". "Laughs, heartbreak, war, regeneration, scented breezes, sparkling wit … perfect for children and grown-ups," the Guardian added. The Man Who Planted Trees will run from August 22nd until September 1st at the South Bank Centre as part of the Festival of Neighbourhood being hosted by the venue. If you're left hungry for more theatre after watching, why not take advantage of Wicked the Musical and Billy Elliot the Musical theatre packages while staying at The 41 Hotel.