Julia Donaldson (probably best known for writing The Gruffalo) is a literary hero in our house, writes Kate Chapman.
Yes, practically everything she has written has been hungrily devoured over and over again.
My children can’t get enough of her enchanting, rhyming tales, so when we heard an adaptation of The Snail and The Whale, by Tall Stories theatre company, was coming to King’s Lynn Corn Exchange as part of a national tour, we couldn’t wait to go and see it.
And we weren’t disappointed.
As one of Donaldson’s more poetic works, I was intrigued to see how this story – of a tiny snail who hitches a lift on the tail of a giant whale, so she can travel the world – would translate onto the stage.
Tall Stories’ innovative adaptation is inspired by the work of Storybook Soldiers, who help British military personnel abroad to record bedtime story CDs for their children back home.
The amazing journey of the tiny snail is seen through the eyes of a very adventurous young girl – who’d love to be going round the world with her seafaring father.
It’s the simplicity of the show which makes it work – there are just three cast members and the set is uncomplicated, yet incredibly clever too, with items of furniture including a bookcase and chair being pushed together to represent the whale.
The show mixes classic storytelling with lots of laughs, music and audience participation – be warned the cast get the super soakers out at one stage, which we weren’t expecting!
If you get chance to catch this show at another venue, we’d definitely recommended it – you’ll have a whale of a time!