Everyone’s favourite knobbly kneed monster The Gruffalo has extended his stay in the West End, adding another four months to the forthcoming run at the mythical creature’s regular London home, the Lyric Theatre.
Originally booked in for a summer residency, Tall Stories’ hugely popular adaptation of the much loved picture book will now take in autumn and winter too, playing from 6 July to 8 January.
The news comes as the show celebrates its 15th birthday, having grown from its humble 2001 beginnings as a touring schools show to its success in recent years as one of the West End’s favourite family shows.
The Gruffalo brings Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s story of a terrifying woodland creature – who, happily turns out to be more hilarious than scary – and his interactions with the other animals in the deep dark wood to life through catchy songs, laughter and plenty of help from its captivated audiences.
Talking about reaching its milestone anniversary, the show’s creators Olivia Jacobs and Toby Mitchell commented: “Back in 1999, when we asked Julia and Axel if we could adapt their then little-known book The Gruffalo for the stage, we had no idea how things would turn out. The original 2001 tour involved three actors in a car (not even a stage manager!) touring to schools and small venues. To go from there to the West End, Broadway and the Sydney Opera House has been quite a journey.”
Alongside its forthcoming West End run, The Gruffalo company will be also be bringing the magic of theatre outside of the London venue, taking a brand new interactive performance free of charge to inner London schools.
Explaining the new initiative, the pair said: “This autumn Tall Stories is creating Future Perfect, an interactive performance for Year Six students which uses time travel as its central theme. We hope that the performance will give students approaching secondary school age the opportunity to think about how the choices they make might affect their future.”