National Children’s Theatre proudly presents Noko Goes to School


National Children’s Theatre proudly presents Noko Goes to School, a chapter in the series: The Adventures of Noko the Porcupine and his friends. This heartwarming story is the second in the series by Eleni Theodorou and adapted for the stage by Moira Katz.

This new tale, set in the heart of the South African bushveld, compassionately sparks curiosity around the deep value of cultural diversity and inclusivity, encouraging children to explore what makes us different, yet so special and so able to interact and be friends.

The story opens with baby animals attending their first day at night school, held in the trunk of a big tree. We recognise Noko the porcupine, Mmabudu the hyena, Kolobe the warthog, Nkwe the leopard, Inhoka the snake, Tarentaal the guinea fowl. They’re having a singing lesson- the teacher is having a hard time getting them to sing in tune. She is thrilled when the bell rings, announcing lunch time. The animals pick up their bags and scurry into the sunshine to at last devour the yummy lunches their parents packed for them. The teacher sees that they sit in a circle to make new friends and departs to have tea in the staff room.

On opening their lunch bags, and seeing Mmabudu’s lunch squirming about, it becomes clear to these bushveld buddies that their lunch packs contain very different items. They look with horror at each other’s food items: Who ever heard of eating wriggling mopani worms!  There is loud argument and dissent, sparking one-upmanship and some bullying. Is Noko going to be able to solve these problems?

The author, Eleni Theodorou, holds a masters degree, and has worked with children and their parents in different parts of Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, administering brain-based learning assessments and related coaching in pursuit of educating and empowering them academically, socially, and emotionally, and is a dedicated volunteer to special needs children, young adults, and senior citizens. She says “The play builds understanding the deep need for, and importance of, helping our children to not only cope, but to also develop lifelong Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and soft skills that will help them along their journey from classroom to the boardroom.”

“We’re thrilled to be producing a play by a South African with a message that is so vital for all our youngsters: that we are indeed all different, but how interesting it is to be different!  We need to promote the beauty of diversity and celebrate and respect our differences,” says Moira Katz, CEO of NCT.

Themes: Learning about the seasons, the animals, what they eat, how they behave, the beauty of friendship, all at a level children can understand. Parents can also follow up by reading the Noko books with their children.

To book your school: Phone 011 484 1584 or 076 115 2304 OR

National Children’s Theatre is the foremost children’s theatre in Gauteng, shining the bright light of educational, engaging and award winning theatre for children and youth throughout South African cities and rural areas. NCT’s unwavering purpose is to transform young lives and grow societies’ next generation of leaders through the kaleidoscope of vivid and engaging performance arts, original and instructive musicals, and immersive after-school programs. We present live theatre year-round at our renowned 4.5-acre campus in Johannesburg, which includes two indoor theatres, one outdoor theatre, a puppet theater, music room, and classrooms for the weekend workshop academy. NCT reaches an audience of almost 100,000 a year and is one of the busiest children’s theatres in South Africa.

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