Play review by Julia Pattison: The Tiger Who Came To Tea at Grand Opera House, York

David Wood's musical play based on the book The Tiger Who came To Tea by the late beloved author Judith Kerr bounded onto Grand Opera House York's stage for a brief run.
David Wood's musical play based on the book The Tiger Who came To Tea by the late beloved author Judith Kerr bounded onto Grand Opera House York's stage for a brief run.

Play: The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Venue: Grand Opera House, York

Review by: Julia Pattison

David Wood’s musical play based on the book The Tiger Who came To Tea by the late beloved author Judith Kerr bounded onto Grand Opera House York’s stage for a brief run, much to the delight of pre-school children who’d been eagerly anticipating seeing their favourite picture book brought to life.

I took along my three year old grandson Bram, and he just loved the show from the start as Sophie and her Mummy and Daddy arrived in the stalls, interacting with the audience as they stepped up onto the stage.

Adapted and directed by David Wood, this production was perfectly pitched for the target young audience, with my grandson giggling with glee along with the other children at the slapstick scene at breakfast as Daddy staggered round the kitchen muddling his shoes for toast, and mistaking a tea cosy for his hat. The kitchen set designed by Susie Caulcutt was light and airy, with many hidden props that would be revealed to great effect as the story progressed.

There was a big build up for the Tiger’s big entrance, then at last he appeared.

I did wonder if he would scare my grandson, who looked a little apprehensive at first, but then burst into beams as the tiger moved so gracefully (Movement Director Emma Clayton), and engaged Sophie, her Mummy, and all of us in the audience in Tigerobics – delightfully interactive theatre.

There was awe and wonder on many young faces as food magically disappeared from plates and cupboards, followed by more sing-a–long songs later, featuring sausages chips and ice cream.

The Tiger didn’t put a paw wrong, and when Sophie gave him a warm hug as she said goodbye to him, adults and children alike gave a collective “ahhh”; the story had woven its magic on stage, and everyone went home happy, no doubt eager for tea and cake!