Last week we took a trip down to London to see the Julia Donaldson classic “The Gruffalo” brought to life. A last minute purchase and decision as fellow blogger Elaine over at Entertaining Elliot had to sell her tickets so we snatched her hand off and set off on our journey to the deep dark wood to visit The Gruffalo.
A mouse took a stroll through a deep, dark wood…
Well a toddler, a mummy, a grandma and a baby took the choo choo train into London. We are lucky enough to be in Derby which is only 90 minutes by train to London and I still had the magic KenziBox On the Go Travel kit to see us through our journey.
Where we played with Magic Paper.
Before arriving into St Pancras where our journey continued.
on went the mouse through the deep dark wood
Down to the underground. Despite living in London before we headed for the bright lights of Dubai I was a little apprehensive about this. It turns out I shouldn’t have worried for 2 reasons:
One – the Toddler loves trains and the underground was no exception
Two – people help you. Even more so when you have a massive toddler in the pram and a tiny (well ok not tiny as he is GIGANTABABY) baby strapped to your chest.
So we arrived at the theatre unscathed and amazingly on time.
Parking the pram up in the buggy park we took a bouncing excited toddler into the theatre where he immediately NEEDED a Gruffalo flag which provided a great source of entertainment for him until the Gruffalo started.
his eyes are orange, his tongue is black, he has purple prickles all over his back….
Cleverly adapted from the book to the stage and played by just 3 actors, The Gruffalo captivated my near 3 year old for the full 55 minutes.
Before arriving I had wondered how they would make a story I can (and do!) read in 10 minutes into 55 minute production. Let me tell you, with audience participation from shouting at the stage, to catchy songs, to a dancing mouse all with the famous words of Julia Donaldson interwoven. And shouted out by the audience of course.
The toddler did get a little bit twitchy as he wanted The Gruffalo to come out immediately….
oh help oh no it’s a gruffalo
Squeals of delight when the Gruffalo came out from parents and children alike. Wonderfully portrayed by Owen Guerin he provided just the right mix of not being the sharpest monster around.
The chemistry between all the actors and the obvious in-jokes made for compelling viewing for the adults in the audience and the children were just mesmerized.
Then of course, the mouse, played by Ellie Bell, outsmarted The Gruffalo. Leading him back through the woods to each of the predators, cleverly costumed and played by Timothy Richey (my favourite being the air force owl…. ) before announcing
“but now my tummy is beginning to rumble, my favourite food is Gruffalo crumble”
“Gruffalo crumble” the Gruffalo said,
And quick as the wind he turned and fled
Where the Gruffalo jumps into the audience, cue my toddler waving and jumping on my knee. He didn’t know whether to be terrified or delighted so went for a mix of both.
Then it was over.
And the Toddler clapped and clapped and clapped.
Heading back across London, he fell asleep in the pram and we snuck into the wonderful Searcys to meet Baby Boys new best friend and a sneaky glass of champagne before heading on the train back home.
Happy but exhausted.