The Smartest Giant in Town is a wonderful children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. We were invited to Southend Palace Theatre to review the Little Angel Theatre touring production of The Smartest Giant in Town.
The Smartest Giant In Town Show Review:
We have been to The Little Angel Theatre a few times and are big fans of their production style and puppetry.
The Smartest Giant in Town show closely follows the storyline of the book. George wishes he wasn’t the scruffiest giant in town. So when he sees a new shop selling giant-sized clothes, he decides it’s time for a new look: smart trousers, smart shirt, stripy tie, shiny shoes. Now he’s the smartest giant in town . . . until he bumps into some animals who desperately need his help – and his clothes!
In the Little Angel Theatre production of The Smartest Giant in Town the giant, George, is played by an actor wearing a large giant head mask. A town is cleverly constructed on stage with the use of small green hills and small little houses, all adding to the illusion that George is indeed a giant.
The Smartest Giant in Town
By Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Published by Macmillan Children’s Books
A Fierylight and Little Angel Theatre co-production Touring from 12 October – 20 November
St Martin’s Theatre, London from 30 November 2022 – 1 January 2023
Running time: approximately 55 minutes
Aimed at ages 2 – 8 years
George, unhappy with his old clothes, finds a new shop in town selling fancy new clothes. The shop is a clothes rail with some clothing and two shop assistants who help George to chose the right clothes.
George is very happy with his new purchases and begins to proudly walk around town. During his walk, George stumbles on many an animal in need. He discovers he can help these animals by donating some of his new clothes. His tie, for example, becomes a scarf for a cold giraffe.
The clothing that George donated magically grows in size between George taking it off and the animal putting it on – it is clever little pieces of stage trickery like this that really helps to engage the children and provide a sense of awe and magic.
The smartest giant in town show really brought the book to life for my children aged 3 & 8. They both laughed, joined in the songs and had a really good time. At 55 minutes long it is a perfect introduction to theatre for a younger audience.
The storyline, singing, magic and puppetry really kept my children engaged and delighted.
Little Angel Theatre has a small stage and an intimate feel, this show has translated really well onto a larger stage during this tour with a much larger audience than The Little Angel Theatre can hold.
The Smartest Giant in Town Review Credits:
Adapted by Barb Jungr and Samantha Lane
Directed by Samantha Lane
Music composed by Barb Jungr
Set and costume design by Kate Bunce
Lighting design by Sherry Coenen
Puppets designed and made by Judith Hope
This dramatisation of The Smartest Giant in Town is based on the picture book The Smartest Giant in Town © Text Julia Donaldson 2002 and © Illustrations Axel Scheffler 2002, published by Macmillan Children’s Books.
Disclosure: We were given free tickets to the smartest giant in town in exchange for an honest review.