2002 - Dick Whittington at the Milton Keynes Theatre
1991 - Dick Whittngton at the Charter Theatre Preston
1990 - Aladdin at the Theatre Royal in Bath
1989 - Dick Whititngton - Hawth Theatre, Crawley
1988 - Babes in the Wood at the Churchill Theatre Bromley
1987 - Dick Whittington at the Liverpool Empire
Roland Rat is a British television puppet character. He was created, operated and voiced by David Claridge, who had previously designed and operated Mooncat a puppet in the Children's ITV television programme Get Up and Go! He worked for Jim Henson, then the second series of The Young Ones.
Roland lives beneath King's Cross railway station in The Ratcave and also in Ratcave2 under The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles California. He has an infant brother called Little Reggie and had a relationship with a Guinea Pig called Glenis. His colleagues include dour Welsh technical whizz Errol the Hamster and over-enthusiastic self-appointed "number one ratfan" Kevin the Gerbil, who is from Leeds and loves pink buckets. Claridge actually provides voices for all the main characters: Roland Rat, Errol the Hamster, Kevin The Gerbil, Little Reggie, Fergie the Ferret and Roland's father Freddie as they often appear on screen together. Roland's car 'the Ratmobile' is a bright pink 1953 Ford Anglia.
Roland Rat first appeared on Friday 1 April 1983 on the ailing breakfast television network TV-am, and is generally regarded as its saviour, being described as "the only rat to join a sinking ship". After a couple of months on TV-am, Roland took the audience from 100,000 to 1.8 million. Roland was launched at TV-am by Children's editor Anne Wood to give kids entertainment during the Easter holidays. Initially, Roland was featured as the host of The Shedvision Show, ostensibly broadcast from a wooden shack on the roof of TV-am's studios. On the strength of this, Roland was soon given a regular slot every morning introducing cartoons for younger viewers.
Arguably Roland Rat's golden age on TV-am was the period from summer 1983 until summer 1985. During this period, Roland and friends would feature in a half hour episode transmitted on school holiday weekdays on TV-am from 9.00am. The school summer holidays of 1983 and 1984 saw Rat on the Road in which Roland and Kevin would spend each week in a different town of the United Kingdom. One notable highlight during this period was the visit of Austrian racing driver Roland Ratzenberger who appeared on the show in a motor race against the Ratmobile ending with Ratzenberger's car being sabotaged by his near-namesake.
The character of Errol the Hamster was gradually drafted in during the first year as a VT technician responsible for running the cartoons inserted into the show. Errol eventually joined Roland and Kevin on location at Christmas in 1983 for Roland's Winter Wonderland which saw Roland, Kevin and Errol enjoying a skiing holiday together in Switzerland. The following year at Easter, Roland Rat hosted the show Roland Goes East set in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and covering the ill-fated film shoot of Roland's attempted movie debut, a martial arts film entitled Enter the Rodent.
The half-term week of October 1984 saw Operation FOGI (Free Our Glenis Immediately) which revolved around the gang's attempts - eventually successful - to liberate Glenis The Guinea Pig from her life in the pets department of Harrods. Following enormous demand, the season was repeated across subsequent Sundays for the benefit of school pupils whose half term had not fallen the week of the series' transmission.
Christmas 1984 saw Roland's Countdown to Christmas. TV-AM sold Roland Rat advent calendars, with Roland opening each door with the viewers at 7.20am every day, The final door had Roland and his friends in the snow.
Roland last appeared on TV-am at the end of August 1985, when the last summer holiday slot was broadcast.