The Enormous Crocodile

The wet weather can't dampen our joy at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, with a rib-tickling new version of Roald Dahl's acclaimed picture book - The Enormous Crocodile. Expect audience interaction, lots of wild animals, and one VERY hungry reptile! 

This nasty, scaly beast has a rumbly, grumbly belly, and is in search of delicious squishy fingers and knobbly podgy knees to gobble up. Usually this wouldn't be a problem, as the nearest little humans are miles away in the town, but with a group of junior explorers on the loose, will Croc's tummy stay empty for long? Only the other jungle creatures can foil his secret plans and clever tricks, but they're going to have to find a large amount of courage to stop this greedy brute.

This musical adaptation features a cast of six, who all multi-roll and act as puppeteers throughout the piece, with one ensemble member especially standing out. As much as they are all a very talented cohort, who have such palpable chemistry at all times, Audrey Brisson has an incredibly vibrant stage presence and a strong vocal range to boot. This spark applies to all her lines, be that sung or spoken, as her array of voices are a particular highlight of the show.

With faultless plans in place to keep the show running as safely and reliably as possible, this press performance featured a short show stop to dry off the space following a downpour. It is thanks to the wonderful crew behind the curtain that we can continue to enjoy performing arts in the heart of nature, as without them it simply wouldn't be possible. 

Speaking of the stage management team, the only critique I'd give to this production is that the regular set changes detract from the creativity of their design (by Fly Davis). The 'magic of theatre' felt slightly less magical each time the crew joined the performers on stage - not because a visible crew is an inherently negative thing, it just wasn't done particularly imaginatively. 

Emily Lim and Toby Olié (puppet designer) direct the entire show with fun and flair, however this specific element seemed slightly half hearted. 

Made clearly with children and families in mind, the costumes (by Fly Davis) are bold and bashful. The colour palates and textures all reflect the characteristics of each feathered friend we meet along the way. The only thing is, they might need our help. Are we brave enough to lend a hand (or peanut) when times get tough? 

Ahmed Abdullahi Gallab's tunes mean that people of any age will have a great time bopping along, and Suhayla El-Bushra compliments this wonderfully with a book and lyrics that are entertaining for all. 

The same can be said for the movement sequences by choreographer Vickie Igbokwe, which are a beautiful blend of dance, puppetry, and ambiance. 

This is a must-see summer show, with jungle fun for everyone! 

This show was reviewed on the 22nd May 2024 at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre where it runs until the 8th June 2024.  Tickets here: The Enormous Crocodile | Open Air Theatre

Review written by Katie McConnell


Photo credit: Johan Persson

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