Presented by Freckle Productions in association with Rose Theatre
Based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Large in size and keen in nature, Zog is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet…a duel with knight, Sir Gadabout the Great!
The smash-hit stage adaptation from Freckle Productions (the team behind Zog and the Flying Doctors and Stick Man) is back and promises to be bigger, brighter and more roar-some than ever before! With lively songs from Joe Stilgoe and directed by Emma Kilbey, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved Zog is a magical production for all ages.
★★★★ ‘A rip-roaring, song-filled fun-fest. My three-year-old sat utterly rapt through the entire performance’ South Wales Echo
★★★★★ ‘A bright colourful musical to capture the magic of theatre’ What’s Good to Do
★★★★ ‘Zog and its five-strong cast are a delight. A roaring success!’ Reviewsphere
Running Time: Approximately one hour
Age suitability: Most suitable for 3+ but all ages welcome.
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Zog ON TOUR
Our review on Zog
Zog - The Lowry, Salford - Friday 4th August 2023 by Karen Ryder
FROM PAGE TO STAGE, ZOG IS A BRILLIANT SHOW WITH SUCH POSITIVE ENERGY, IT'S THE PERFECT FAMILY TREAT!
I know I am someone that could be described as being in touch with their child like sense of wonder and imagination and I own that, but I never thought for a moment I would enjoy a show designed purely for children quite as much as I just have. Zog is zesty, zippy and full of zing. With full on musical theatre numbers written by Joe Stilgoe, they transcend the usual nursery rhyme type song associated with shows for younger children and appeal to the masses with their upbeat, catchy melodies and glorious messages.
But back to the story. Zog is a clumsy dragon who just wants to achieve the best in life and tries super hard so that he can win an elusive golden star in school. Try as he might, it never seems to happen, and as their teacher encourages her dragon students to practice, practice, practice, he never gives up even when he thinks he can’t do it. Helped along the way by his friend Princess Pearl, who believes in him every step of the way, he is determined to succeed, and after his flying lesson sees him crash into a tree, his fire breathing lesson sees him set his own wing alight, and his rescuing a Princess lesson sees him losing out whilst his friend rescues two, Princess Pearl steps in and offers to be the Princess that Zog can rescue. Their friendship is sealed and as we discover that Pearl is not happy with her Princess status and instead dreams of being a doctor, a new and exciting alliance is born – The Flying Doctors. Zog still has one more lesson to pass though - to learn to battle a knight. Enter Sir Gadabout, who tries to take Pearl away. Zog fights for his friend and finally wins his elusive golden star!
The audience are included in this beautiful show right from the start. When the actors enter the stage with puppet birds on sticks, they immediately have us laughing as one of the crows settles on an adult audience members shoulder and poops! Zog enters from an unlikely place (scaring me half to death) and immediately wins the hearts of everyone. There is a genuine feeling of warmth in the theatre and a family aura, where children roar along with the dragons, adults clap along, and everyone gets up to join in with the invitation to dance on our feet at the end of the show. The actors take their time to chat directly with the audience, making the whole thing feel very inclusive. As the actors effortlessly bound around the scaffolding set, it is visually exciting, energetic and full of surprises. The use of puppets was superb, and the attention to detail is mesmerising, such as when the dragons have been flying around and then settle down, the dragons can be seen panting for breath! They matched the movements of their actors fantastically, so that even when the puppets were ‘rested’ and it was just the actor as the dragon, it all made perfect sense. There was no confusion and the multiple role playing was seamless. It was flawless, and I left the theatre wondering if it was too weird for me to go and buy a Zog toy because this feisty dragon stole my heart.
Danny Hendrix played Zog with joy, heart and portrayed his level of determination perfectly. He had every single person in the audience rooting for him, to the point that when he didn’t get a golden star on the third lesson, meaning another dragon got two, someone nearby shouted out “That’s not fair! Zog works hard!” Lois Glenister is delightful as Princess Pearl, showing the themes of kindness, loyalty and independence to a tee. They display a great friendship on stage and both deserve acknowledgement for the positivity they sent out to the youngsters in the audience, and to us adults too! Ben Locke plays both Sir Gadabout and one of the Zog’s dragon classmates. He is great in both roles, but hails respect, laughter and hilarity as Sir Gadabout, making everyone belly laugh. He has a song about wanting to be a dancer and he busts many a comical move, and provides some brilliant mime too, with his ‘invisible’ horse (that he asks an audience member to look after and feed for him). Louise Grayford and Etta Williams complete the cast as Madam Dragon and the final dragon classmate and are equally as brilliant. Grayford has the audience eating out of the palm of her hand when she tries to teach us all some tongue twisters and Williams has everyone giggling along with her cheeky antics. This cast genuinely give off a family vibe and not only is it lovely to see, but it fits with the ethos of the show wonderfully too.
The story is taken right off the page so those who know the story can join in, but it is also fleshed out with additional script, brilliant songs and physical theatre moments. Back to the songs for a moment as they are catchy, and would slot right into any West End show, with some giving off Matilda and Mary Poppins feelings. Golden Star, I Can Do It, and Practice are amongst the ones that have stayed in my mind for various reasons, with Practice incorporating synchronised movements with letters creating funny moments.
Zog is a brilliant show for kids of all ages, and with the Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler exhibition also on, it combines to makes an excellent day out at The Lowry, and believe me, many people have the same idea as the place was heaving and buzzing with excitement, energy and anticipation. These are memories worth making and with such a positive energy and message being brought to life, I thoroughly recommend going along, enjoying and letting your heart fall in love with an orange dragon called Zog.
WE SCORE ZOG...
You deserve all 5 of them stars Zog, well done!
WATCH OUR "IN CONVERSATION WITH DANNY HENDRIX AND LOIS GLENISTER DISCUSSING ZOG AT THE LOWRY THIS SUMMER" VIDEO
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