As one of the best loved children’s books, Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo has enchanted children – including ours – for many years.
So when I heard it was coming to Cardiff’s New Theatre, I made sure booked tickets for a family afternoon out.
We took our seats in front of the deep dark wood and waited for the show to begin. Performed by a small cast, we were soon introduced to the book’s well-known characters – mouse, fox, owl and snake.
The well-known words of the story were woven into narrative and jolly songs. A particular highlight for me was the Madness-style song by Fox, which featured Madness-style choreography too.
The rapport between the cast was a pleasure to watch and the audience participation was pitched just right. Children were encouraged to speak the words from the book and to fill in the gaps. They helped the mouse by roaring and sitting with pin-drop quietness at the right times.
The snake had many of us – including the narrator – in stitches with his flamboyant performance. The owl worked well as a military-style character ordering poor mouse around before she outfoxed him.
Both of our children were asking for the Gruffalo and what a delight when he took to the stage in a costume of soft layers studded with purple prickles all over his back. He even had the poisonous wart at the end of his nose.
At 55 minutes without an interval, it was a fun telling of the Gruffalo tale at a good length of time for young children. The cast and songs brought fun to the stage in an imaginative telling of Donaldson’s classic tale.
The Gruffalo is on tour across UK theatres until January 2018. Find out more here.
Blogger note: We purchased our tickets and the venue was unaware I would be writing a review.