“No Gruffalo should ever step foot in the deep dark wood”, or so says The Gruffalo early on in The Gruffalo’s Child, fortunately for the crowd at the Theatre Royal this week the titular child of the story pays little heed to her father’s warnings and so we follow her into said forest as she goes in search of the infamous Big Bad Mouse.
So goes the story of The Gruffalo’s Child, which, like its predecessor, The Gruffalo, has been brought to the stage by Tall Stories and is currently thrilling the little one’s – and many of the older ones – in Nottingham this week.
The show is a, surprisingly, small production with just three cast members and a single set made up of moveable trees and backdrop, this however works perfectly with how the story is told.
Sophie Alice takes on the titular role of the Gruffalo’s Child and does so with gusto doing an excellent job of conveying the fast changing emotions of the young creature as the story is told, meanwhile Catriona Mackenzie is great fun as the mouse, who also acts as narrator engaging the crowd in the story. The final member of the cast is Duncan McInnes who first appears as a sleeping Gruffalo before also going on to play snake, owl and fox all of which are great fun, in particular fox as a wheeler-dealing eccentric type character.
The costumes are all well developed with The Gruffalo and Gruffalo’s Child both looking great and the show is full of energy and excitement that had the audience involved throughout. My three year old was mesmerised throughout and even I found myself clapping along at times.
A great show and at just under an hour it’s just the right length for the younger children in the audience.
If, like me, you have read The Gruffalo’s Child to the point that you no longer actually need to the book in front of you to know the words then I highly recommend you take your little ones along to catch the show while it’s in town. They will love it, and you’ll probably have a great time too.
Tickets available from £10 with showings twice a day until Sunday for more details and to book tickets go to www.trch.co.uk
Review by Darren Patterson