This morning I watched The Gruffalo’s Child at the Lowry which is the sequel to the story of the Gruffalo. I found it very funny and a pleasure to watch, the nine-year-old I was accompanied by also agreed that it was a very good performance.
With its small cast of just three actors, The Gruffalo’s Child tells the story of how the eponymous ‘Gruffalo’s child,’ played by Sophie Alice, wants to go into the ‘deep dark wood’ to explore. However, her father- The Gruffalo played by Andrew Mudie, tries to stop her adventurous feelings by telling her how dangerous the wood is, this done by singing a lovely light hearted song about what gruffalo’s can do, but what they shouldn’t do is ‘go into the deep dark wood.’ I would like to comment here that I thought all the cast members had wonderful singing voices and their vocals blended well together.
Despite her father’s warnings, the Gruffalo’s child decides to venture into the woods, where we are reminded by the ‘mouse’ played by Catriona Mackenzie, about the dangers there.
From here, we see the Gruffalo’s child meet various habitants of the woods, such as a snake, an owl, and a fox. I found all the encounters with the predator’s fun and each involved some type of audience participation. During the snake scene the audience had to clap along to the beat, the owl scene we had to flap as fast as we could as owls are known to be good fliers. During the fox’s scene the audience was invited to bid on how much they would pay to buy the Gruffalo’s child, fitting with the stereotype of a fox who is sly. I liked how these parts included the audience, making it fun for children.
The last character which the Gruffalo meets is a ‘little mouse’ who isn’t as scary as the type her father described. However, the Gruffalo’s child states that she does want to meet the big bad mouse, to which the little mouse tricks her. Unknown to the child, the little mouse stands up on a twig and pretends to be the ‘big bad mouse’ but it is only the shadow of her body which portrays her as being big and scary. The Gruffalo’s child runs away back to the cave.
I found it a very enjoyable performance with lots of catchy songs and thought it was interesting to see how the large Gruffalo who you would expect would be brave and not scared of anything, is in fact scared of a small mouse.
Reviewer: Claudia Thomas
Reviewed: 10th August 2016
North West End Rating: ★★★★