Monday, 5 August 2013

The Gruffalo's Child Live

"One snowy night while the Gruffalo snored, the Gruffalo's Child was feeling bored, the Gruffalo's Child was feeling brave, so she tiptoed out of the Gruffalo cave..."

On Saturday afternoon I got the pleasure of taking the two of the Johnson Children to see The Gruffalo's Child Live at the New Theatre
Credit: New Theatre website
And the story played out the same. The Johnson children weren't as brave as they wanted to be.
Within the first three minutes I was thanking my lucky stars that rather than going solo with three children, or more especially two, that I had been able to swop a child's ticket (Squeaks had a birthday party) for my mum to be there.
Squeaks and I had seen The Gruffalo Live when it was at the Millennium Centre. It's odd, the things we didn't like about The Gruffalo Live were reversed with The Gruffalo's Child Live. Apart from, of course, the reality for the boys was they would have liked a bit more of an introduction.
They had the shock of their lives when the Gruffalo appeared on stage in the first few minutes.
Credit: New Theatre website
We definitely wouldn't have been able to stay for the entire performance if my mum hadn't have been there.
Both boys went into meltdown, judging by the cries around the theatre they weren't alone.
I guess this is why it is recommended for a 3+ age group.

As it was both boys were pacified by having a cwtch and were quickly back in their seats to be enthralled by the performance.

As we have come to love in children's productions, this performance saw three actors take in seven characters, with 'The Gruffalo' taking on five!
It was fantastic.
Whilst admittedly it takes me an age to read The Gruffalo's Child to my Johnson Babies, this is because of their insistence to act out every page, become hyperactive with excitement over the various feasts created with Gruffalo, and trying to bring them down to an energy level suitable for bedtime.

I did wonder how Tall Stories would be able to prevent my children demonstrating this same hyperactivity, as well as everyone else in the audience, and engage for nearly an hour.

Effortlessly.

Well, that's how it felt.
The music and lyrics were fantastic, the narration seamlessly brought everything back to the words and rhythm of the book for which children are most familiar.

The music and lyrics ensured audience engagement, the boys were so involved in shouting words and clapping their hands in time. 

There wasn't any time for being distracted.
I kept wanting to watch the boys, to watch their reactions as they fell involved with everything unfolding on the stage.
But I get keeping enthralled with the characters, the dialogue which kept the performance going outside of the words of the book. Which was equally focused at child and adult engagement.

My mum had a discussion at the end as to whether familiarity with the book was essential. Mum thought it was. Obviously, with her being my mum and all, I disagreed.
I did wonder if the boys would know that this wonderful performance which had engaged them was anything to do with their favourite bedtime story.
Last night, as hyperactivity resonated around the bedroom again, I know I underestimated them.
Seeing The Gruffalo's Child on stage has only enthused their enthusiasm.
And wrapped around their little fingers, bedtime consisted of both The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child.
My energy was limited by just after 7. Trying to bring them down from two rounds of excitement is definitely something to be saved only for the school holidays!
Disclosure: We love sharing great theatre productions for children. And after paying for our tickets would definitely recommend The Gruffalo's Child Live.

2 comments:

  1. Tigger would love to see this, looks like the boys had an amazing time.

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    Replies
    1. It would have been perfect for Boo and Roo as well! (I am so gutted Squeaks had a party), but I imagine Roo would really have appreciated the humour as well it keeping to the book.

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