Review: Stage show of the Gruffalo’s Child, Ipswich Regent Theatre

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- Credit: Archant

‘The Gruffalo’s Child’

Regent Theatre

Ipswich

Saturday July 27 2013

The Gruffalo series is a modern publishing phenomenon. Young children today are as familiar with the creature with “the poisonous wart at the end of his nose and purple prickles all over his back” as previous generations were with The Cat in the Hat or Winnie The Pooh.


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It’s popularity was much in evidence in Ipswich on Saturday afternoon as the stage version of The Gruffalo’s Child attracted legion’s of young fans and their families to Ipswich’s Regent Theatre.

The story is the sequel to the original Gruffalo tale and tells of Gruffalo Junior’s quest to find the Big Bad Mouse. To achieve this she has to venture into the Deep Dark Woods where she has been forbidden to go. Along the way she meets Snake, Owl and Fox before a scary encounter with the mouse sends her running back, with the realisation home is the best place to be.

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It’s a simple story, aimed at kids between three and six, and to lengthen it to a child-friendly 50 minutes is quite a feat. But the Tall Stories Theatre Company have managed it using songs, interactions with the audience, costume changes and comedic chases across the stage to keep the kids entertained.

It’s an energetic performance by the three actors who work well within the minimalist setting and I particularly liked the actor who morphed from samba dancing snake to a professor-like owl before becoming a wide-boy fox. The songs are fun with some great lines which raised the odd titter.

While a part of me felt that some of the magic of the book was lost in translation, the show is fun, entertaining and a chance for children to see their favourite story brought to life.

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