Twinkly Christmas trees in vast Georgian windows, mulled wine and mince pies in the foyer is how our Christmassy trip to the Redgrave Theatre in Clifton began. 

Tiger who came to tea review

Image - The Tiger Who Came To Tea, credit Michael Jean-Marain

The show we (my two girls aged two and five and I) were here to see was family-favourite, The Tiger Who Came To Tea - a musical play based on the book by Judith Kerr and adapted and directed by David Wood. Celebrating its 50th year as one of Britain’s best-loved picture books, the story continues to grab children’s imagination and was visibly thrilling for kids to see it brought to life before them.

The play opened with singalong songs and a comical scene with Daddy leaving for work, which had the audience chuckling. The surroundings and characters’ clothes were all exactly as they are portrayed in the book, making it instantly recognisable for little’uns. 

Suspense for Tiger’s arrival was cleverly built with Sophie and her mum sitting down for various meals and snacks throughout the day, interrupted by the doorbell several times before finally, the tiger appears - but only to the audience. Hiding and re-appearing, a confused Sophie and her mum don’t know what to make of the non-visitor while children shrieked excitedly - ‘IT’S A TIGER!!’

The tiger’s interaction with Sophie, her mum and the audience is a sheer delight. From his magical devouring of all the sandwiches, buns, cake, fridge contents and juice to twirling Mummy around the room and getting down to the funky beat on the radio, it’s a joy to watch.

The production uses nifty ways of getting the characters to the cafe with a limited set and everyone leaves on a high after a final, interactive three round sing song about sausages, chips and ice cream. I’ll be singing that for the next week for sure!

At an hour long, it’s perfect for younger kids with short attention spans - a great evening out that does total justice to this wonderful children’s book.

Reviewed by Angharad Paull

Related

The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Redgrave Theatre
Theatre
The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Redgrave Theatre

Direct from a smash hit West End season, The Tiger Who Came to Tea returns to the stage, celebrating 50 years of Britain's best-loved picture book!

Redgrave Theatre
Theatre
Redgrave Theatre

Hidden aware in the beautiful suburb of Clifton the Redgrave Theatre is one of Bristol’s most popular theatres hosting a wide variety of productions including operas, musicals, stand-up comedy, theatre and dance.