‘The Gruffalo’ is a stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much loved book. For those who don’t know, the story follows mouse through a dark wood on her quest for a delicious nut. She encounters a fox, owl and snake on her journey but scares each of them away by outwitting them with tales of a Gruffalo. But will mouse also be able to outwit the Gruffalo?

’The Gruffalo’ is brought to life by Tall Stories Theatre Company who have been performing their adaptation of this much loved book for fifteen years. The three actors brought great energy and enthusiasm to the stage in their various roles as narrators and creatures. Especially impressive was the owl character who had the audience hooting with laughter for much of the time he was on stage!

The costumes were really imaginative and it was enjoyable to see them transform from regular clothes into an animal on stage. Mouse’s ears popped up from a plain head band, the flaps of a hat were upturned into the ears of a fox, and tails appeared as if by magic. The set was satisfyingly interactive as well, leaves became a butterfly, a tree turns to reveal the owl’s home, and many times an actor would exit one way only to appear again on the opposite side a moment later!

There were lots of songs which were entertaining, as was snake’s dance moves! The Gruffalo himself was entirely likeable and quite exciting to finally see.

My children and I thoroughly enjoyed this production and my three year old, who is quite a big fan of the Gruffalo, was utterly enchanted by the whole performance. I highly recommend taking a stroll through Tall Stories deep dark wood, because like the mouse’s treasured nut, this show is good.

Stephanie Sandeman-Allen is a local mum of two boys, the youngest of whom will be starting school this September.