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The story of The Gruffalo has long been a favourite book in the Thrifty household. So much so, we can quote the famous lines of the story with our eyes closed. Having watched the television adaptation many times at home, we leapt at the chance to review the Tall Stories adaptation for the stage at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham.
Tall Stories, the registered charity behind the stage adaptation of The Gruffalo, brings great stories to life for audiences of all ages. Touring the UK, Tall Stories use a blend of storytelling theatre, original music and laughs. Founded in 1997, Tall Stories shows have played the West End, on Broadway and at the Sydney Opera House.
As we entered the auditorium, we were met with peaceful woodland sounds of birdsong, barking and running water. The stage was set as a forest with tall trees, leaves and butterflies under a canopy of dark blue light signifying the ‘deep, dark forest’ from the story we all know and love.
Thrifty Bubba, toy Gruffalo in hand, enjoyed looking at the set and listening to the sounds. She was able to point out the houses of the fox, the owl and the snake from the story depicted on stage. She also took a good look around to see if she could spot any signs of a Gruffalo!
The show itself held the attention of the children in house by the use of repetition and audience participation. Aimee Louise Bevan played the mouse and struck a good balance between being timid and confident.
Alastair Chisholm who played the predators of the forest was delightfully entertaining, producing whoops of laughter from the children and also offered quick one liners for the adult audience members too! His ‘snake’ had everyone giggling with his hilarious antics.
Aaron Dart played The Gruffalo well, his tall frame filling out the costume and using his boundless energy to leap about on stage. The audience in the stalls loved it when he came off stage and interacted with the children at the front.
The songs included in the show were unknown to us but were repetitive and catchy enough to hold children’s interest particularly with memorable lines such as ‘flap a dap a ding dong day’ and ‘It’s just what Gruffalos do!’. We were singing them into the evening.
If your family are fans of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler then The Gruffalo live on stage would be worth a watch. We enjoyed ourselves and Thrifty Bubba loved the experience of seeing some of her favourite characters on stage.
Thank you very much to The Everyman Theatre for inviting us to experience the show. We’ll look forward to seeing the Tall Stories 2022 UK tour of Room on the Broom!
Have you seen The Gruffalo live on stage? What’s your favourite Julia Donaldson story? Comment below, say hello and let me know.
Love, Thrifty Mumma X
To find out more about the Everyman Theatre or to book tickets please visit: http://www.everymantheatre.org.uk