Theatre review: The Gruffalo at the Lyric Theatre

Children will go wild for this enchanting story of their favourite mythical beast

From the moment we walked into the Lyric Theatre and the children were handed Gruffalo stickers we knew we were in for a treat.

Both my seven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter love this classic children’s book and we couldn’t wait to see how it would transform to the stage.

The Gruffalo is an enchanting, clever and funny story about a small mouse who meets other animals as she journeys through a dark wood. Unfortunately these animals - a fox, an owl and a snake - all want to eat her!

So to escape, the mouse makes up a terrifying creature called a Gruffalo. But lo and behold after making her escape she then bumps into... the Gruffalo!

I won’t spoil the ending but in the way of classic tales he is not all that he seems.

The staging was simple with a small cast of three who did superbly in holding the attention of a theatre full of excited children.

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There was an element of pantomime in the interpretation of the story with plenty of audience participation with screams of “scrambled snake” and “oh don’t you know, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo”.

The narrative was interspersed with some really catchy songs (my son has been singing “Gruff, gruff, Gruffalo” for days) and the already charged atmosphere went up another notch when the Gruffalo made his appearance and ran into the audience.

Running at just under an hour the show is the perfect length to hold the attention of children of all ages, while still doing the story full justice.

We thoroughly enjoyed the show and for any doubters out there, there IS such a thing as a Gruffalo - we’ve seen him!

* The Gruffalo is showing at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D, until January 14.