We came, we saw, we roared! The Gruffalo adapted by Tall Stories at The West Yorkshire Playhouse.
The story of The Gruffalo has been a consistent favourite in our house since my eldest was tiny and the cartoon version is well loved too. When we found out that a theatre production of it was touring we knew we had to go. So we headed out on an adventure to The West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.
As this book is so well known and loved I was really interested to see how it would play out on the stage. Thankfully, we were not disappointed. Bursting with energy and full of entertainment this panto style production is a definite winner.
An enchanting set and larger than life characters make for a truly engaging performance with a fabulous range of songs that are easy to pick up and join in with. The level of interaction with the young audience was excellent, my two particularly enjoyed being asked to roar as loud as they could!
The theatre company have really gone to town with developing the characters; the fox is a confident cockney geezer whilst owl is a bumbling military pilot who takes himself too seriously. But our favourite was snake, an extravagant and dramatic character shaking maracas and dancing around the stage.
At nearly an hour long the script has built on the original rhyming story but those recognisable lines are still there, given much emphasis by the actors to encourage the audience to shout them out. There are many ways in which this play differs from the book, but personally I would have been disappointed to watch a play that stuck rigidly to it. The brilliance of this production is the way they have reinterpreted the story and characters whilst still maintaining the magic of the original book. This is a truly creative performance and a wonderful experience for young children.
Photo credits © Tall Stories.
Illustrations – The Gruffalo © Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler.Follow @Acornbooks