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The Gruffalo, the Giant, and the Mermaid with Julia Donaldson – 1* - One4Review

The Gruffalo, the Giant, and the Mermaid with Julia Donaldson – 1*

| On 16, Aug 2022

I was probably most excited about this children’s show as my 2 absolutely adore these stories, however, the show we saw felt like a rather cheap version put on by an amateur dramatics group.

The show opens with some simple magic and this gets us into the theme of our first story, The Singing Mermaid, who has been taken ashore by the evil circus master. You quickly realise that production values aren’t high and the acting at times felt wooden and lines were being said instead of acted. This was a theme that ran throughout all the stories sadly and I started waiting for the end.

During one of the stories, there are extremely simple projections used and one solitary puppet to tell the story of multiple animals including a family of elephants, we sat upright awaiting elephant puppets of some sort but nothing. This story felt like it was added to pad out the show which was a shame.

The Gruffalo is done with the use of sign language, but the rest of the stories aren’t. You can’t always see the actor’s hands depending on where you are sitting and this again feels added for the sake of it as the whole show could have been made accessible with the use of a signer at the side of the stage.

I am sorry to say that I found this a thoroughly underwhelming hour where it could have easily been so much more. The Smeds and The Smoos at Pleasance Courtyard (11.00) is a Julia Donaldson story done exceedingly well with high production values, acting, and singing and it’s on at the same time. Just saying.


Reviewed by Matthew

Underbelly – Udderbelly

11.00 (1hr)

Until 29th (not 15th)

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