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The Gruffalo, Birmingham Town Hall

THE Gruffalo has become a children’s classic in a remarkably short space of time, so it’s no surprise alternative adaptations of it are being wheeled out to cash in on the phenomenon.

THE Gruffalo has become a children’s classic in a remarkably short space of time, so it’s no surprise alternative adaptations of it are being wheeled out to cash in on the phenomenon.

To be honest I thought a musical adaptation might not prove a success but I’m delighted to say I was proved wrong.

A small but talented cast of three worked hard to make this an enjoyable take on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Aided by simple props and costumes they set about telling the story of Mouse on an adventure through the deep dark wood, relying on cunning to outwit Fox, Owl and Snake.

The success of the show owed much to a catchy and bouncy musical soundtrack.

I imagined it would be hard to spin this tale out to make a theatre show but it didn’t feel overly stretched.

It relies heavily on the repetition of a continuous theme (the predators’ attempts to devour Mouse), something that is at the heart of the book’s success, as well as a simple but highly effective twist in the tale that gives the book its title.

I think my six going on seven and seven going on eight-year-old children were not quite as enthusiastic about treading the same ground as some of the younger members of the audience but they enjoyed it nonetheless.

Overall it was a charming and appealing production, that’s well worth checking out if and when it comes round again.

 

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