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Roald Dahl's The Enormous Crocodile the Musical art work

all about theatre five star review

This December I was invited along with my husband and two young children to see the world premier of Roald Dahl's The Enormous Crocodile The Musical, at the wonderful Leeds Playhouse.  The musical is a co-production between Leeds Playhouse, Roal Dahl Story Company and the Regent's Park Open air Theatre and is based on Dahl's 1978 children's picture book the enormous crocodile.

Robyn Sinclair, Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings, Philippa Hogg and Charis Alexandra in The Enormous Crocodile. Credit Manuel Harlan Croc-006.jpg

The musical is co-directed by Emily Lim & puppetry designer Toby Olie and tells the story of an enormous greedy crocodile who lives in the jungle and wants to eat some children.  The crocodile comes up with some "secret plans and clever tricks" disguising himself as a variety of things in order to trick and catch the children but each time his plans are thwarted by the other animals which live in the jungle.

Elliotte Williams-N'Dure in The Enormous Crocodile. Credit Manuel Harlan Croc-039

As soon as we entered the auditorium it felt like we had been transported into a Jungle swamp, it was hazy and lit by green lighting with a glorious lush leafy green set, bubbles were falling from the ceiling (which the children loved especially my little boy who had a great time popping them) and there were cast members walking around the auditorium with insect puppets which they let the children look at and touch whilst they chatted to them.  This interaction before the show made the children feel comfortable and excited about the show.

Philippa Hogg, Robyn Sinclair, Charis Alexandra and Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings in The Enormous Crocodile. Credit Manuel Harlan Croc-168

Set and costume designer Fly Davis has done an excellent job of creating the perfect setting for the story and her costumes integrated wonderfully with the puppets which the cast had to operate.  The puppets themselves were fantastic, designed by Toby Olie I felt they fit Dahl's aesthetic perfectly.  My favourite puppets had to be the children the body of the child was a puppet and the head was that of the puppeteer it looked strange at first but you got use to and the movement of the puppets was interesting and I just loved watching them as they were really funny.

Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings and Elliotte Williams-N'Dure in The Enormous Crocodile. Credit Manuel Harlan Croc-175

The musical numbers in the show were fun and catchy and sung beautifully by the amazing cast of five. The ensemble cast includes Charis Alexandra as Trunky the elephant, Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings as Humpy Rumpy the hippopotamus, Pippa Hogg as Roly Poly Bird and Robyn Sinclair as Muggl Wump the monkey, they all worked together wonderfully and had to play a number of characters as well as their main one, they also had great puppeteering skills. The enormous crocodile was played by Elliotte Williams-N'Dure who was just fantastic and she really embodied the crocodile she also has an amazing voice and I really enjoyed all her vocal numbers.

Elliotte Williams-N'Dure in The Enormous Crocodile. Credit Manuel Harlan Croc-191

Roald Dahl's The Enormous Crocodile The Musical is one of the best kids theatre shows I have seen; it is visually stunning with amazing puppets incredibly catchy song and some fun audience participation. The kids in the audience really enjoyed getting involved making the noises of tree frogs and river hogs they especially enjoyed the part of the show where they got to throw prop monkey nuts at the crocodile.  This is a snaptastic show which is fun for the whole family I definitely recommend it and I give the show five stars.

Roald Dahl's The Enormous Crocodile The Musical is running at Leeds playhouse until Saturday 6th January 2024  you can find out more about the show and purchase tickets by clicking on the button below. It will run at Regent's Park Open air Theatre in summer 2024

Photo Credit - Manuel Harlan

Running time - 55 minutes

Age Guide - 4+

*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review


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