Review: The Gruffalo at New Theatre.

A mouse took a
stroll through the deep dark wood…


We haven’t been into
Cardiff or to the theatre for quite a while, mostly because I’ve not
been too well, so it was nice to have day out in the city today. When
we heard The Gruffalo was being brought to life on the stage, we
couldn’t wait to go!

We have always
adored Julia Donaldson’s wonderful book, and we are firm fans of Axel
Scheffler’s illustrations, so I was keen to see how it would transfer
to stage. I love the family shows at New Theatre, there’s such a buzz
as you walk into the foyer, following the people up and around the
gorgeous staircase and chatting to the very helpful staff as you head
towards your seat.

The stage looked
wonderful, a forest full of trees and greenery, and when the lights
went down we knew we were in for a treat. The story begins in the
same way as the book, but with the addition of song and dance along
the way.

Lauren Scott-Berry
was the cutest thing I’ve seen in a while upon the stage, her
performance of Mouse was so sweet and Molly adored her from the off.
She was very cute, and she had the right amount of fear,
over-confidence and uncertainty as the mouse in the book has, which
is perfect for bringing the tale to life.

Aaron Millard was
both the narrator and the Gruffalo, and he excelled upon the stage.
He had a lot of energy and moved around the stage as if he were truly
a part of it. I loved his energy and interaction with Mouse, and when
he became the Gruffalo it was humorous and entertaining as his
character took on a life of its own outside of the book.

Alastair Chisholm
was my favourite performer, with a quirky style to his performance,
he had me hooked from the start. His superb acting matched each
costume, from fox to owl to snake, each character was presented
differently and with so much enthusiasm and fun! I especially liked
his cheekiness during the show, and I am sure I spotted occasional
moments when he surprised the rest of the cast with hilarious
outbursts and surprises. When it came to his performance of Snake I
was actually reminded of Steve Pemberton at times, which made it all
the more funnier (for me anyway!). 
I loved the songs
and really wish I had a copy of them to listen at home,
because I can’t get the Gruffalo song out of my head! The costumes
were simple yet in-keeping with the set and allowed for imaginations
to thrive as tails popped out of trousers, maracas were used to
imitate the sound of a snake and the fox’s ears were simply upturned
ear warmers on a trapper style hat. I love how the stage, set and
costume not only allowed for our imaginations to blossom, they also
encouraged us to think differently about how we create things during
role-play sessions and how costume can work without being
overbearing.

I thought the
performance was hilarious, sweet and entertaining and perfect for
young children, especially Molly’s Age (6) because she was hooked
from start to finish.

The Gruffalo is
running at New Theatre until Sunday 3rd September 2017 and
tickets start from £9.50, age guidance is 3 years and upwards.

Disclosure: I
received tickets in exchange for review. All opinions are 100% honest
and my own.
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