Reviewed on Saturday 4th July 2015
As we collected our tickets I noticed the queue down the street and the "sold out" sign on the box office window – what a great idea to get children as young as three interested in theatre. Staged at the West End’s Lyric Theatre (home to Thriller Live), The Gruffalo is performed with a family friendly schedule over the summer.
The staging is a simple yet effective woodland setting. As the lights dim for the hour long performance, children fall silent with excitement and anticipation. Starring Ellie Bell, Owen Guerin and Timothy Richie, we set off with Mouse to find her nut in the deep and darkest wood, meeting along the way the predators of Fox, Owl and Snake.
Adapted from Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler's children's book, this is a little gem for children to see. The actors interact with each other well and engage the young audience throughout. Musical numbers make perfect accompaniment, with each woodland character having their own theme tune. My personal favourite was the wily fox with the "Madness" styled ska influenced, song complete with "nutty" boy dance.
This show is long enough to enjoy but short enough not to lose the engagement of the children. There were even some little adult references like a nod to Thriller and a moon walk to keep the grownups amused as well.
The Gruffalo is a great little show. Providing a perfect morning’s entertainment, there is clearly plenty of demand from audiences for family friendly shows.
Reviewed by Caroline Hanks-Farmer
The Gruffalo runs at the Lyric Theatre until 6th September 2015.
Please visit www.gruffalolive.com for info and tickets.
Photo Credit: Ellie Bell