The Gruffalo, The Witch and The Warthog with Julia Donaldson (4 stars)

The Gruffalo, The Witch and The Warthog with Julia Donaldson

An hour of humorous and energetic storytelling from the first lady of children's books

This show is what happens when home-spun meets a decent budget. Joined by her husband, sister and two others, the first lady of children's books brings six of her works to the stage – and it's adorable.

Julia Donaldson's stories and rhymes are read nightly in bedrooms across the world, have been adapted for the stage and screen, and are used as learning aids in schools and nurseries. In short, they fly off the page – much like Donaldson herself, when she mounts a broomstick for the opening tale, Room on the Broom.

From here, this jolly crew act and sing their way through five other favourites: The Ugly Song, The Magic Paintbrush, Superworm, The Cook and the King and – of course – The Gruffalo.

It all takes place on a stage decorated with giant colourful books, cleverly designed to transform the space into the 'deep dark wood' or flip open to reveal the 'truly magnificent broom'. Donaldson and her husband, Malcolm (a hilarious sly fox in The Gruffalo) are devoid of showbiz sheen – instead they feel like the grandparents every child would like to have looking after them.

With six tales coming in quick succession, each told with energy and humour, wrapped up in quality set, props and costumes, this is an hour of storytelling that has everyone – adults and children alike – caught in its spell.

Underbelly George Square, until 27 Aug, 11am, £11–£12 (£10–£11).

The Gruffalo, the Witch and the Warthog with Julia Donaldson

  • 4 stars

Julia and Malcolm Donaldson Following a sell-out season in 2015, the UK's best-selling author Julia Donaldson returns to Edinburgh with a brand-new show featuring Room on the Broom, The Magic Paintbrush, The Ugly Five, Superworm, The Gruffalo and newly released The Cook and the King. The cast of five, including husband…

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