Tom Cruise, Ronnie Corbett and, since 1999, ‘The Gruffalo’s Mouse – Julia Donaldson’s massively successful picture book is further proof that size really doesn’t matter.
It’s a lesson firmly endorsed by youngsters all over the world. Millions of children have loved the story of the bright mouse who outwits all manner of adversaries, including the monstrous Gruffalo. This stage production by Tall Stories has been around almost as long as the book – since 2001 – yet, as with the book, its popularity shows no sign of waning.
And nor should it – director Olivia Jacobs has created a version that’s as fun and as fantastical as the original. Actors Tom Crook, Susanna Jennings and Timothy Richey set the tone for the piece, which is a soft, colourful and simple retelling with the addition of some cute songs.
The performers’ laid back physical humour is what makes the show. Their movements are deceptively simple – such as when all three morph into the Gruffalo’s fearsome jaws – and it’s this subtlety that creates the show’s magic.
Much must also be said for the show’s brilliantly silly take on the characters: there’s a maraca-wielding, gold-bandana wearing snake, a stuffy old RAF owl and a tweed jacketed fox.
There aren’t many surprises here, and the songs do go on a bit, but, if your kids loved the book, they’ll likely love this show.
By Daisy Bowie-Sell