The Gruffalo’s Child at the Marine Theatre - Our review
By Esmee Stimson
Most children and parents are familiar with the work of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. My children have always taken great delight in reading Julia Donaldson books, ‘Super Worm’, ‘Room on the Broom’, ‘Stickman’ and of course ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘The Gruffalo’s child’ are a few of their favourites. So we were delighted to find out that an adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book The Gruffalo’s Child was coming to the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.
Straight from London’s West End, presented by Tall Stories, The Gruffalo’s Child’ tells the tale of the mischievous Gruffalo’s Child who ignores her Father’s warning of the ‘Deep Dark wood’.
The story begins as the Gruffalo warns his child against stepping foot in the ‘Deep Dark Wood’ because of the ‘Big Bad Mouse’. Being both curious and mischievous the Gruffalo’s child steps out of the Gruffalo cave on a snowy night in search of adventure.
On her way through the ‘Deep Dark Wood’ the Gruffalo’s child encounters a number of animals a Snake, an Owl, a Fox and finally the ‘Big Bad Mouse’. Will the Gruffalo’s Child make her way safely back home to her Father and the warmth of their cave?
I was really impressed how Donaldson’s tale was adapted without losing any of the magic or the wit of the story book.
The set is very simple but effectively used to make the audience feel that they are going on the journey with the Gruffalo’s Child. The tale starts at the Gruffalo’s Cave but this quickly turns around to create the backdrop of deep dark wood. As well as the background, there are two moving trees and few moving stumps which help keep the children captivated with the story. The story was also told with some very imaginative props and costumes, which helped draw the audience into the tale.
Even though the production only uses three actors, they were used in a really effective way and worked very well together. This helped to create a fun and entertaining show on a small scale which was perfect for younger children, my son was engrossed from start to finish.
The songs and dancing worked really well as they were both catchy and engaging. My son enjoyed the opening song ‘The Deep Dark Wood’ and the ‘Stick with Me’ song that ran through the show. The children in the audience were animated in singing,wiggling and joining in. Even as we left the Theatre we heard children singing the songs from the show.
Overall this was an excellent show for both children aged 3+ and their adults. The audience was kept entertained and engaged throughout and the show managed to keep the wit and the magic of the Julia Donaldson Book.
My own son was familiar with the story of the Gruffalo’s Child, but the story is very easy to follow for those who are not. Tall Stories also provide some brilliant activities on their website which is worth taking a look at.
Running Time: 55 minutes with no interval
A free souvenir programme and sticker is given to each child.
There was lots of merchandise for sale in the foyer of the Theatre. This included cd’s soundtrack, t-shirts, books and cuddly toys.
BSL Interpreted Performance – Wednesday 20th June at 10.30am
Recommended for children 3+
Privilege Card: £12.00
19th June 2018 at 4:30 pm
20th June 2018 at 10:30 am which is BSL Interpreted Performance
20th June 2018 at 1:30 pm