JULIA Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning picture book The Gruffalo has been delighting youngsters since its first publication in 1999.
In more recent years the stage show has been transforming theatres into a deep, dark wood as it presents a musical adaption of the tale about Mouse, who meets Fox, Owl, Snake and the Gruffalo, who has knobbly knees, and turned out toes, and a poisonous wart on the end of his nose.
Community News spoke with Mouse (played by Tina Jackson) ahead of The Gruffalo season in Perth during January.
Where are you at the moment?
I’m in the deep dark wood. I got here this morning and I’ve been having a wonderful time exploring! I’ve come across a stream, a lake and some awesome rocks. I’ve also met some interesting creatures that I’ve never seen before, like butterflies and bunnies. I’ve even been climbing the trees, which is very fun!
What else has been keeping you busy today?
I’ve been on the hunt for a nut – I don’t suppose you’ve seen one, have you? I’m pretty hungry and a hazelnut would hit the spot perfectly. I’m not really sure where they come from – do they grow on trees? Or do I have to dig for them?
What do you love most about your story?
I love that I get to use my wits to outsmart creatures that are much, much bigger and much, much stronger than me. And who doesn’t love winning?
How did you get to become so brave and smart?
Well, I think I was born this way but my longing for adventure has certainly helped me along the way.
How will you be celebrating Christmas before the show makes its way to Perth at the beginning of January?
Me and my friends in the deep dark wood will be having Christmas at the Sydney Opera House. I hope I get given a nut.
What do you hope your young, and maybe not so young, audiences take with them from seeing The Gruffalo?
I think it’s important to see a strong female character triumphing over all the naughty male characters in the show – and it’s important for everyone to know that problems can be solved with words and wits.
What: The Gruffalo
Where: Heath Ledger Theatre
When: January 3 to 14