The Gruffalo’s Child at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley

Today I took Esther and Bea to the theatre

The Churchill Theatre in Bromley

To see The Gruffalo’s Child

A Tall Stories production

We LOVE The Gruffalo in our house

And have done for the longest time

We love the books

And the animated films

We know the stories off by heart

And use them to comfort, soothe and entertain our children

Esther and William had an awesome Gruffalo party on their third birthday

gruffalo play

We saw the production of The Gruffalo twice that year

I remember feeling a little disappointed with it both times

I thought some of the characterisation was off

And those characters were reprised in today’s performance too

But let me begin at the beginning

gruffalos child

We arrived at The Churchill Theatre in good time

To buy drinks and have a wee

As always we were well looked after by the staff

When the auditorium opened

We took our seats

And savoured the busy atmosphere

As the seats filled with excited families

The scene was set

The Gruffalo’s Cave

On the edge of the deep dark woods

A simple set with moveable parts

That added an extra dimension to the storytelling

The show started with the narrator setting the scene

Three actors played all the parts

The storyteller was also the mouse

The actress was good with a good singing voice

I liked the stylised performance that she gave

The use of song and dance

To complement the words of the Julia Donaldson story

I liked the choreography

And the story

There was just something about the characterisation of The Gruffalo

And The Gruffalo’s Child

That just did not feel right for me

The voices did not feel right

I also foundd the character of the snake very uncomfortable to watch

More so in the original Gruffalo production than today

I did very much like Owl

And the children LOVED Fox

The performances were enthusiastic and energetic

(The same actor played The Gruffalo, Snake, Owl and Fox)

But there was no spark for me

No magic

I wonder if my personal interpretation of

My individual imagining of

The Gruffalo stories

Is just so very different to the stage adaptations

I felt today’s performance lacked something

And it did not hold Bea’s attention at all

Bea is 4 and an experienced theatre goer

Esther was more focused on the show

They both joined in with the audience participation

But neither had much to say about the performance

After the show had ended

I realise that this is my very personal response

The theatre was full

And there was rapturous applause for the finale

The play was not bad

But it did not blow us away

I liked how central Stickman was to the story

This was very clever intertextuality

I loved the physical style of the performance

The catchy songs

The choreography

The way the children were invited to join in with parts of the show

For me this production was not as good as What The Ladybird Heard

Not as wonderful as The Snail and the Whale

Not as strong as The Scarecrow’s Wedding

But that is just my opinion

You can read other reviews by following the links below

Esther and Bea loved going to the theatre

They enjoyed the show

And are looking forward to seeing another production soon

The next family show at Churchill Theatre, Bromley, Kent is Madagascar – The Musical

Which runs from 25 – 29 September

William is DEFINITELY going to want to see that!

We were given free tickets in return for an honest review

3 thoughts on “The Gruffalo’s Child at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley

  1. Shame you didn’t enjoy it. I think it would be very hard for real peple to portray those creatures – they are so imaginative….

    I miss children’s theatre now that mine are older – look forward to seeing simple stuff like that again, maybe when I have grandchildren

    • I think it is not the individual actors, it is something in the way the character has been adapted for stage. The actor was excellent at portraying the different roles that he did. I think The Gruffalo costume does not help as it looks like feathers. We LOVE children’s theatres and it is only The Gruffalo adaptations we have struggled with. The Snail and The Whale also by Tall Stories is excellent theatre.

  2. Such a shame. I agree though, we have our own perception of each character and I think if the actors aren’t right in that part, it can throw the whole play.
    The best thing I ever took my daughter to see was an Angelina Ballerina ballet. I’m sure Esther and Bea would adore it!
    I had tears in my eyes at seeing my daughter’s enjoyment. Not sure if they still tour…

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