Audio - Big Finish Classics: The Box of Delights

Derek Jacobi (Cole Hawlings) and Mack Keith-Roach (Kay Harker)

The wolves are running. Prepare to join Kay Harker in the magical world, as the first trailer is released for the Big Finish audio dramatisation of The Box of Delights...


Press Release

Set to bring some early Christmas cheer this month, this brand-new full-cast audio adaptation is based on the beloved novel by John Masefield, and features a stellar vocal cast including Sir Derek Jacobi, Mark Gatiss, Lisa Bowerman and Louise Jameson.

And listeners, your ears do not deceive you – that is the sound of The First Nowell, from Victor Hely-Hutchinson's Carol Symphony, a distinctive melody forever associated with this classic tale, in a brand-new arrangement by composer Joe Kraemer.



Returning home for Christmas, young Kay Harker meets a strange, old Punch and Judy man and finds himself thrown deeper and deeper into a thrilling world of magic and peril. Tumbling through time, he's pursued by gangster magicians, piratical rats and sinister forces that will stop at nothing to destroy Christmas. The wolves are running... Will Kay be able to stay ahead?

The Box of Delights follows the classic fantasy adventure about a schoolboy who is entrusted with a magical box. He soon realizes he has the ability to time travel and shapeshift, as he is thrown into a race against time to protect the box from an evil magician and to save Christmas.


Composer Joe Kraemer (Jack Reacher, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) said: “The Christmas season has always been a magical time of year for me, inextricably linked to childhood and family, and the music of the holidays is a big part of that. Writing the score for The Box of Delights has given me a terrific opportunity to revisit some of my favourite carols in new ways, and to create new music that evokes the wonder of the season, from the excitement of the year’s first snowfall to the colourful glow of the lights on the tree to the aromas of Christmas dinner coming from the kitchen.

“An iconic part of The Box of Delights for many people is the music of Victor Hely-Hutchinson’s Carol Symphony, and I am thrilled to be able to use it as the signature opening and closing theme tune for this version of the story. It’s the perfect piece of music for this tale of magic and mystery!”

Director Barnaby Edwards added: “Even before we’d recorded a word of The Box of Delights, we knew we wanted to use Victor Hely-Hutchinson’s Carol Symphony as the theme music. Written just 8 years before John Masefield’s novel, it’s become synonymous with The Box of Delights.

“It was used in the original 1943 radio adaptation and has made regular appearances in subsequent versions including the BBC’s much-loved 1984 television series. Nothing summons up images of snow and Christmas and Cole Hawlings quite so viscerally as that opening swell of strings and the plucking of that magical harp."

Producer Emma Haigh added: “We didn’t need to have any discussion about the theme music for our production of The Box of Delights as we knew we simply had to use Hely-Hutchinson’s Carol Symphony. Joe has weaved his own brilliant magic through it to bring it to life, once again, for our production. It’s been a real joy to hear this and one simply can’t fail to know you’re about to join Kay on his adventure as soon as we hear the opening bars.”

Big Finish Classics: The Box of Delights is available to pre-order as a limited edition 6-CD box set (priced at £34.99) or digital download (at £29.99), exclusively from the Big Finish website.

Please note the box set edition is limited to 1,000 copies only.

Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mail-out of collector’s edition CDs may be delayed due to factors beyond our control, but all purchases of this release unlock a digital copy that can be immediately downloaded or played on the Big Finish app from the release date.

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