Thank you to The New Theatre for providing us with complimentary tickets in exchange for an honest review.
One of my children's favourite books when they are small is the Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Alex Scheffler. Naturally following that they adored the sequel the Gruffalo's Child and they are big fans of the TV adaptations too.
When I heard that Tall Stories Theatre Company's adaptation of The Gruffalo's Child was coming to Cardiff I couldn't wait to see it. And that was just me, not the kids! I'm sure that all parents will related to feeling attached to some of their children's favourite books and this is how I feel about the Gruffalo books!
The stage and set are very minimal and there are only three actors who take on all the roles in the story. It works really well though and the minimalism really works so that the children watching are really using their imaginations. The appearance of the fox, owl and snake were just brilliant, they each had their own unique character and were really quite funny, especially the snake!
In addition to the words of the story which we all know so well there were extra songs, dances and scenes which made watching this production a really unique experience and somewhat different to reading the story. It was great to have an extra dimension to such a well loved book and the appearance of Stick Man didn't go unnoticed or unappreciated!
The show was really interactive and great for small children. There were catchy songs and the audience were encouraged to get involved, clapping along and shouting out when asked to. My three children loved it, my youngest (4) who can't sit still for anything was enthralled for the whole hour and my eldest (11) who thought she was too old for the show found herself laughing along with the jokes and would admit readily that she really enjoyed it.
I'd definitely recommend it if you are a fan of the books, it is quite a different experience to our interpretation of the story and a very enriching one which we all very much enjoyed. It's not quite what we expected so do expect something a little different and I do think it lacked a little wow factor, but it was still a very enjoyable show.
The show is just under an hour long with no interval which makes it perfect for younger children. It is showing at The New Theatre in Cardiff until Sunday 5th August and you can book tickets here.