Review: The Gruffalo,The Belgrade Theatre Coventry

Review: The Gruffalo,The Belgrade Theatre Coventry

Postby dutchman » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:36 pm

There IS such a thing as a Gruffalo


Those with children of a certain age will be familiar with the tale of the mouse who goes for a stroll in the deep dark wood.

Faced with dinner invitations from a fox, an owl and a snake, the mouse must use all of her cunning to avoid being the main course.

Thinking she has duped her potential dinner-hosts with a fearsome creation, the mouse must again use her smarts when she comes face to face with the creature she believed was mere imagination.

So the tale of the Gruffalo goes, and for 20 years it has enraptured kids and adults alike spawning a sequel, The Gruffalo's Child, and television adaptations of both, voiced by an all-star cast.

With young eager audiences to please, the stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler's work has a big legacy to live up to, and it succeeds.

This afternoon's (November 11) first performance at the Belgrade was packed with children of all ages desperate to catch a glimpse of the Gruffalo.

Following our heroic mouse on her journey through the wood, we meet her foes one by one, each accompanied by a song and dance number.

But it is the words of Julia Donaldson the audience members know off by heart and recite.

And while the reviewer may not be the target audience, the toddler I had in tow was enraptured from start to finish, joining in with the story she's almost memorised.

With a three-actor cast, the story is skillfully told with some impressive costume changes and set used to fantastic effect to follow the mouse on her journey.

The show-topping moment comes, of course, as she finally comes face-to-face with the fearsome Gruffalo, accompanied by a brilliant musical number.

Eventually of course the mouse convinces the Gruffalo not eat her and finally gets her hands on her prized nut and the nut was good.

Presented by Tall Stories, The Gruffalo runs at the Belgrade with shows today at 4.30pm and tomorrow (November 12) at 10am, 12.30pm and an extra added performance at 4.00pm.

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