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Review | The Tiger Who came to Tea | Live on Stage

On a scorching hot Sunday my three daughters (aged 8,6 and 2) and I headed to Piccadilly Theatre to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which is celebrating its 10th year live on stage.

This much-loved classic children’s book, now 50 years old, takes you back to childhoods of the late 1960s. The stage production and set is beautifully true to Judith Kerr’s original illustrations, right down to the the hair styles and costumes. I was delighted to learn that the book originated as a bedtime story Judith Kerr, now 95, would tell her then three year old daughter. The simplicity of the story, and fantastical idea that a Tiger would drop in for tea, has a wonderful appeal to little people with big imaginations.

Sophie and her parents arrive on stage through the stalls of the theatre, waving to the very excited audience. Then tick-tocking of the clock hanging on the kitchen wall takes them, and the audience, through that very eventful day in the otherwise peaceful home of Sophie and her parents. Each moment of the day is depicted with dance and song, each one as catchy and beautifully performed as the next. As Sophie’s father departs for work the audience wait with great anticipation for the very exciting uninvited guest.

Review | The Tiger Who came to Tea | Live on Stage

The Tiger eventually arrives in stunning costume and with some very characterful and amusing moves, to a chorus of ‘he’s behind you’.  With the help of some clever props and set design, the Tiger works his way through the contents of Sophie’s kitchen and then embarks on some Tiger aerobics, which the audience dance along to.

You could feel a little wave of sadness cross the audience as the Tiger very politely goes on his way. To lift the mood, Sophie and her family head off into the night to seek out their own tea, and  the audience are invited to sing and dance along to “scrummy yummy sausages”. The Tiger rejoins Sophie and both her parents on stage at the end of the show, dispelling mine and my eldest daughters’ presumption that the Tiger and Dad were played by the same actor.

All three of my daughters, but my two-year old in particular, enjoyed the show. Watch what we, and others, thought of the performance and my youngest proclaim her love of the Tiger below:

For your chance to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea for yourselves, tour dates are available at tigerstealive.com.

Lucy and her daughters received complimentary tickets to The Tiger Who Came to Tea but all their opinions are their own.

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Lucy Fink

Lucy lives just outside London with her husband and three little girls

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