High on the list of my daughters favourite stories, The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr has been capturing the imagination of kids around the world since 1968. We visited the exhibition at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green a few weeks back (must visit alert!) which meant we definitely had to check out the musical adaption at the Vaudeville Theatre which is on till September 4th.
Let me give you a tip – don’t watch the trailer on You Tube which will give you the impression that the play is a load of tosh! It’s throughly enchanting and enjoyable!
Lasting 55 minutes (no interval), I loved the pace and tension that had a room full of little folk on tenterhooks about when the tiger would appear. Using the clock, counting, and punctuating the passing of the day with the likes of the milkman nipping around, each time the doorbell went, the suspense was hilarious with lots of children covering their faces and peeking out hopefully.
The experienced cast really know how to engage the audience and involve them in the play so there was plenty of singing and even dancing along, plus a clever mix of subtle and more obvious humour that added to the suspense as well as no doubt entertaining the parents.
The star of the show is undoubtedly the tiger and from the moment he does appear, I myself was clutching my sides laughing. The production is clever with the special effects (magic!) for the tiger to devour the food fuelling frivolity.
If I was going to criticise anything (besides the dodgy trailer), it’s that wonderful as the singing and acting are, the last song in the cafe drags on a bit. Very particular parents may also have some query with Sophie’s dodgy cake and biscuit filled diet!
Aimed at over three’s (there were plenty of under’s there), you’ll find that under 3’s will be initially nervous of the tiger although they’ll be won over very quickly.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea musical is on at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. Tickets are Â£12.50-Â£20
Beware pushchair users: Like a number of theatres these days, the VaudevilIe is guilty of being distinctly un child friendly when it comes to pushchairs. They need to consider the ‘sense’ in having a shedload of parents lug pushchairs up two flights of stairs for a pushchair park…