St Georges Hall, Bradford
Reviewed by Rachel Legg
I took my two girls to see the Gruffalo’s Child Live in Bradford, and is currently on it's UK tour, as they love both the book and the television adaptation, and I was really looking forward to see their reaction to it live on stage so I think I was more excited than they were. We got to Bradford fairly early and managed to park in the Hall Ings NCP it is fairly expensive but if you go to the box office before the show they will give you a discount ticket for the car park.
We got settled in our stall seats, and the girls were rather excited as the mouse was going round the audience talking to the children which was a really nice touch. As the show started the auditorium goes very dark which helped to highlight that you really need to make sure your child is happy with the dark before going to see a show like this as the first 10 minutes or so were dominated by very unhappy children having to be taken out as they were frightened of the dark.
The show is very well produced and the cast were really good, all the parts are played by 3 cast members and the scene changes etc were really well done. The story is based around the Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson but does not stick religiously to the book’s script with a lot more dialogue and original songs to flesh out the story. The songs were catchy and fun and there were quite a lot of places for the audience to join in enthusiastically with both actions and words. The woodland creatures are loosely interpreted with the fox being played as a bit of a “Del Boy” character and the owl is a flying instructor, a fun way of telling the story but I suspect my girls didn’t really understand this concept, and they were both getting restless at this point. They definitely were more taken with the parts of the show that were more true to the original story though they did join in with the clapping and actions at the end. When I asked them their favourite bit they both said they liked the “shadow big bad mouse” which is probably the bit truest to the book.
We had a good morning and the girls really did enjoy themselves, but I would definitely say this show is for children who are at least 4 if not older, the flyers recommend 3+ and my girls are 3 years 8 months and honestly I think they probably were too young to get the most out of it. In addition being fairly small for their age they did struggle to see all the show and the hall had a limited supply of cushions available. I would thoroughly recommend it though if you have a slightly older child as it really was fun and well done.
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