Virtual Exhibition: The Girl of Ink and Stars

All Libraries, Nottingham

Date -
Time All day
Venue All Libraries

A tale of maps, myth and monsters

An exhibition of photographs by Pamela Raith capturing the development and performance of the family theatre production The Girl of Ink and Stars.

Photograph: Pamela Raith Photography

Based on the award-winning book by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, The Girl of Ink and Stars play written by Satinder Chohan tells the story of Isabella and her lifelong friend Pablo’s journey into the forbidden and unknown territories of their island in a search for their missing friend.  Following her map and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers beneath the dry rivers and smoky mountains a fiery legend is stirring from its sleep. 

This adaptation of a magical story that champions children as brave, resilient and curious was produced by The Spark Arts for Children as part of our Arts Council England National Portfolio status.

This exhibition is currently on display in Retford Library but as browsing time is limited, we are bringing it you virtually too.  We hope you enjoy exploring the images and text online at your leisure.

About the making of the play

Commissioned specifically for library spaces, The Girl of Ink and Stars was created by The Spark Arts for Children in association with Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries, with funding from Arts Council England. 

The Cast and Creative Team

  • Director Adel Al-Salloum
  • Writer Satinder Chohan
  • Designer Roma Patel
  • Composer Craig Vear
  • Isabella Sally Ann Staunton
  • Pablo Reece Carter
  • Company Stage Manager Kate Bosomworth


Find out more about the cast and the creative team in The Girl of Ink and Stars programme.

Costume designs

Isabella’s costume

Pablo’s costume

Costume designs: Roma Patel

In rehearsal

Photographs: Pamela Raith Photography

About the performances

As part of The Spark Arts for Children’s Among Ideal Friends touring consortium, a collaboration with five library services - Leicester, Leicestershire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Rutland - The Girl of Ink and Stars visited 47 libraries across the East Midlands during the summer of 2019.

Photographs: Pamela Raith Photography

The performance was presented through headsets, provided to the audience, to give an immersive 360° sound experience. Individual headsets allowed them to hear the full soundscape of the mythical island of Joya and be fully transported to Isabella’s world.

For a simple outline of the show take a look at the Read Easy Read Synopsis.

Audience reaction

"Excellent performance - super acting. Kids (and adults) enthralled, great idea with the headphones."

Hear what members of the audience thought about the performance at Mansfield Central Library.

"We found the opportunity for the children to talk to the actors really special, inspiring and memorable!"

About the book


Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an award-winning poet, playwright, and bestselling author. Her debut The Girl of Ink and Stars won the overall Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017 and the British Book Award’s Children’s Book of the Year. It was shortlisted for numerous awards including the Jhalak Prize, the Branford Boase Award and the Little Rebels Prize.

The Girl of Ink and Stars is available to borrow both in libraries and online as an eBook and an eAudiobook.

For other fiction and non-fiction titles with similar themes to The Girl of Ink and Stars browse our booklist.

Activity sheets

Help yourself to our The Girl of Ink and Stars activity sheets!

Arts Council England
The Spark Arts for Children

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This is a Virtual Exhibition

Anyone can take a look!