We saw the Gruffalo Live a couple of years ago and the kids adored it so we were looking forward to seeing what they had to offer this time.
The Gruffalo’s child is the sequel to The Gruffalo, which sold over 13 million copies and won several prizes for children’s literature. The story follows the Gruffalo’s daughter on her adventurous pursuit in search of the “big bad mouse”, the only creature her father is truly fearful of.
We sat down ready to begin and much to the kids delight the mouse was scurrying about on stage and came into the audience before the show started.
A simple set of just a few movable trees make up the “deep dark wood”, but surprisingly it works really well. The cast of just 3 are hugely talented and had the audience in the palm of their hands whilst watching this magical, sometimes funny, sometimes scary adaptation of Julia Donaldsons’ book.
Practically all the text from the book is used as the framework for the show and this is expanded wonderfully by a collection of catchy songs and snappy dialogue that very much keeps the spirit and feel of the book.
The inquisitive Gruffalo’s Child is played brilliantly by Sophie Alice whilst Catriona Mackenzie doubles up as Narrator and The Mouse, bringing all the characters together. I have to say though that it is Duncan Maclnnes who steals the show as not just The Gruffalo, but as the bumbling old RAF wing commander-like Owl, the wheeler-dealer Fox in a Trilby and rain mac and as the rather bonkers Snake complete with a spangled silver jacket who loves to dance.
With a simple to follow story, fun songs, a guest appearance from the Stick Man and some brilliantly acting this charming, imaginative and really enjoyable story kept us all entertained for 55 minutes.