Source: Broadway World
To be honest, it doesn’t much matter what I thought of The Gruffalo, the live stage adaptation of the children’s book returning to London’s Lyric Theatre for the Christmas season. I took my three-year-old nephew along – his first taste of West End theatre – to assess its effect on its target audience, and, despite being in need of a nap by the end of the 55-minute performance, he was enthralled.
From Susanna Jennings‘ first entrance as Mouse, she provides an appealing heroine for the youngsters in the audience to cheer on.
Timothy Richey portrays an array of potentially mouse-eating predators – although the sequin-sporting Snake is so funny my nephew was quite taken with him.
Tom Crook hits a great balance as the Gruffalo – a big enough presence to seem like a monster and amusing enough not to terrify the children.
And the little touches to entertain the adults were appreciated (most frequently the Michael Jackson references – a nod to Thriller Live, the other inhabitant of the Lyric).
It’s an hour of perfect entertainment for little ones – if they know the book already, so much the better, but it’s not necessary – the storytelling and the songs will be enough to draw them in.
The Gruffalo runs at the Lyric Theatre until January 12 2014.