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Interview with Owen Guerin – The Gruffalo

Gruffalo 2015 Ellie Bell, Timothy Richey & Owen Guerin (as The Gruffalo)
Gruffalo 2015 Ellie Bell, Timothy Richey & Owen Guerin (as The Gruffalo)

Tall Stories’ magical, musical stage adaptation of The Gruffalo roars into the Vaudeville Theatre for a monster Christmas season.

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep dark wood – in the search for hazelnuts – as she meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the party mad Snake, and outwits them all with the story of the fabled Gruffalo. Armed with only a nut map and a little courage Mouse must make sure she doesn‟t end up as dinner for these wily woodland creatures.

Music, laughter, physical theatre and just the right touch of scary fun, makes Tall Stories The Gruffalo the must-see family show for lovers of the timeless story and everyone looking for a smashing day out! Based on the award-winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler this production continues to entertain audiences worldwide, bringing everyone‟s favourite furry monster to life on stage.

Owen Guerin plays the role of The Gruffalo and he took time out to answer some questions about role.

What do you enjoy most about playing The Gruffalo?
There are many reasons that I love playing The Gruffalo, but having the chance to play a huge, lolloping, monstrously big beast was always going to be fun. There are no pretensions with The Gruffalo – he says exactly what he thinks – with no holdback – and that’s really fun to play with. The moment where Gruff first bounds onto stage is always a winner for me, listening to how the audience reacts to seeing him in all his fury glory for the first time!

What are the main skills you need to perform the role?
Bags of stamina. It’s a very physical show with lots of movement and dancing. It’s very hot inside the suit too, with only the front of my face showing. There are a few much needed strategic air holes here and there to circulate wind flow. Tall Stories always say that they find the Gruffalo tricky to cast – but I guess playing a bumbling monster comes naturally to some folk!

What do you enjoy most about being in the production?
Everything! Working for Tall Stories has given me the opportunity to do some amazing things! Visiting children at hospitals, sky diving, international travel, Live TV, West End shows and my Broadway debut. I’m currently working with an awesome cast too which makes everything even more joyful!

Is there an underlying message in the show?
I guess the show is a type of David and Goliath story – where the little guy wins through by brains instead of brawn. I think every child in the audience can identify with the idea of trying to outsmart the big ’uns in their lives.

Why should everyone put The Gruffalo on their ‘must-see’ list?
Because I guarantee you will have as much fun watching the show as we do performing in it. This year the company has considerably reworked the show, creating a brand new set and costumes – so you’ll truly feel like you are in the deep dark woods with us. And you will be singing the songs for weeks! ‘There’s no such thing as a Gruffalo’? We might just prove you wrong…!

The Gruffalo
Vaudeville Theatre
404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH
Booking From: 15th December 2015
Booking Until: 3rd January 2016
Performances: Various days of the week, 11.00am, 1.00pm, 2.00pm and 4.00pm (no performances on Fridays)

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  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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