2017-04-23 10:00
The Gruffalo

Johannesburg - British children’s writer Julia Donaldson’s international hit, The Gruffalo, gets a delicious South African marinade as an all-local cast brings the story of the bravest mouse on a nut hunt in the deep, dark forest to the stage.

After successful runs in the Eastern Cape, where this local production was created, the cast brings this delightfully funny and energetic children’s show to Johannesburg until Sunday, 7 May 2017. It is more than worth the price of a ticket.

Nombasa Ngoqo and Mandisi Heshu alternate as Mouse, or as Fox, Owl and Snake. Both have that impressive enthusiasm that children’s theatre practitioners must have to get and keep the mercurial attention of an audience of under-10s. Rounding out the cast is Ayanda Nondlwana, who narrates and plays the role of The Gruffalo. He is also a truly spectacularly good performer.

The levels of energy this threesome displays are awesome.

Director Tara Notcutt, who has award-winning plays such as ...miskien and Three Little Pigs to her name, continues to prove her substantial talent as a theatre director with The Gruffalo. She recreates the spirit of the story, but with so much more added to transform it from the page to the stage. She’s made it an experience of great joy for the whole audience – parents too.

There are songs to complement the most dangerous nut hunt in children’s story history as Mouse ventures deeper and deeper into the woods to find a nut. He encounters a series of creatures who want to turn him into a snack, only to turn the tables on them with the threat of a mythical, made-up creature – The Gruffalo. Only, he’s not so made up...

The story, which has an equally delightful sequel called The Gruffalo’s Child, was written in 1999 and has since sold over 13 million copies around the world. It’s a tale of bravery and bravado that also teaches children that being little doesn’t mean you’re powerless.

Take the time to go to this home-grown show. You won’t regret it, and the children will love it and participate joyously as they did during the performance I attended.

Here's everything you need to know about the show:

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