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REVIEW - The Gruffalo is the perfect show to introduce children to the world of live performance - 10/10

BOOK YOUR GRUFFALO TICKETS HERE!

On Saturday, we went to The Lowry, Salford to review The Gruffalo. Read what our reviewer Abigail Holden had to say about this brilliant family show...


The Gruffalo
, based on the popular children’s book of the same name, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, was not something that would necessarily be on my radar for a theatre trip, mainly with me not having children, but I was pleasantly surprised by this production and loved every second of it. I knew of the book, having read it myself as a kid, and didn’t understand how a book that long would be stretched into a 55 minute show, but it was perfect. With it being in the more intimate Quays Theatre, I was also looking forward to getting immersed entirely in the story.

 

The story is of a mouse, who to avoid getting eaten by different predators in the woods, including a fox, an owl and a snake, invents a scary monster called the Gruffalo, which the mouse thinks doesn’t exist. That is until the mouse meets the Gruffalo, who also wants to eat the mouse for lunch. The mouse then goes about proving to the Gruffalo that it is the most feared animal in the wood (by introducing the Gruffalo to the creatures it has already scared off with the idea of the Gruffalo), tricking the Gruffalo into thinking that the predators are scared of the mouse, and not him. The story ends, with the mouse finding the acorn it has been searching for, whilst fending off predators, and not being eaten by the fox, the owl, the snake or the Gruffalo.

 

 

This one-act show is a perfect way of introducing children to the world of theatre, especially with it lasting less than an hour and it being based on a book that is loved by millions of children. The set was simple, and looked like the illustrations in the books, which was lovely, as it meant the kids were able to see the book they love so much come to life in front of them.

 

 

The cast, made up of just three people, are phenomenal, from making their own sound effects, to singing and dancing, as well as bringing the characters to life in the way that they did. Aimee Louise Bevan, who played the mouse, embodied the small, cheeky woodland creature very well, keeping the story going and the children interested, especially in the audience participation moment (which the kids loved) where the audience roared like the Gruffalo to scare the fox. Each of the predators were played by the same person, Alastair Chisholm, who created three different creatures, who were all equally as good and funny (my personal favourite being the rattlesnake with maracas). He made the children laugh with his slap-stick nature and goofy gestures. I absolutely loved him as a performer and I praise him for the amount of energy he had and used, especially for all of those quick changes! And, last but certainly not least, Aaron Dart, who played the titular character of the Gruffalo, embodied the kids’ favourite book character, with his Northern accent (which was a great touch) and his big bouncing steps. My absolute favourite part of the show is when the Gruffalo was afraid of the mouse and not wanting to be made into a Gruffalo crumble. He came out into the audience, in an attempt to hide, and took a seat right behind me. He then attempted to get the circle to send down a rope ladder, and get into a little girl’s backpack, who was sitting on the front row, whilst trying to hide. The children absolutely loved that they could see the Gruffalo up close, in real life, and I am not going to lie, I loved it too.

 

 

With performances happening throughout the summer holidays, this is a great show for all of the family. It is a perfect way of introducing children to the world of live performance, whilst finding an activity to do during the school holidays that is good for kids and adults alike. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I applaud the cast for their phenomenal work. The Gruffalo is a must-see this summer!


WE SCORE THE GRUFFALO - 10/10


You can see The Gruffalo at The Lowry until Sunday 21st August 2022.


BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE!

 

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