Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's Zog blazes a trail to the Lowry Theatre Salford courtesy of Freckle Productions
and live on Freeview channel 276
The bestselling children’s book, made into a film in 2018, is given the theatre treatment here courtesy of Freckle Productions, in what is a truly delightful show.
The smash-hit stage adaptation, which runs until 3rd September ties in perfectly with the Lowry’s current exhibition of Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s remarkable 30 year collaboration creating some of the nation’s best-loved children’s stories.
I took along my two and five-year-old girls, who sat transfixed through an hour of high-energy story-telling, music, dance and puppetry from a remarkable cast of young performers.
Danny Hendrix performs as the eponymous golden star-searching young orange dragon, bringing a warm (no pun intended) thoughtful performance to the role, which, as with all the cast, combines puppetry, song and dance.
He is more than ably supported by Lois Glenister as Princess Pearl, the girl who wants to be someone, and does as she becomes a flying doctor, setting up a rare Donaldson sequel.
I don’t think it’s unfair to say though that Ben Locke steals the show as Gadabout, a dashing knight, who like Pearl, would rather be someone else. His comic turn, with music hall song and dance, is both funny and feverishly energetic.
Louise Grayford as Madam Dragon, and Etta Williams as Pink Dragon complete a pitch-perfect, toe-tapping ensemble that had the young audience in raptures.
It would be amiss not to mention the puppets, designed and created by Little Angel Theatre co-founder Lyndie Wright, which added a stardust of magic to the production.
Zog is adapted and directed by Emma Kilbey with songs by Joe Stilgoe. It is designed by Katie Sykes with lighting design by Ric Mountjoy, puppetry design by Lyndie Wright, orchestrations by Paul Herbert and musical direction by Bobby Delaney.
Suitable for children and families of all ages Zog is at The Lowry, Salford, September 3rd. For more information and tickets visit www.thelowry.com.
Don’t forget to visit the Julia Donaldson Axel Scheffler exhibition upstairs in the Lowry after the show, which celebrates the picture book perfect pair behind many modern classics including The Gruffalo. Their books have sold over 75 million copies.