Roasted fox, kids?
THE Gruffalo leaves the deep, dark wood and makes his way to Cheltenham next week as the Everyman Theatre hosts one of Britain best-loved children's characters.
Since it was published by Julia Donaldson in 1999, The Gruffalo has become a national institution, winning many awards and spawning its own BBC animated feature.
Its 2004 sequel, The Gruffalo's Child has now been made into a live show, which is on over a five-night period next week.
Set a few years after the first book, the story follows the Gruffalo's daughter as she goes in search of the Big Bad Mouse, the only thing of which her father is afraid.
Perfect for families with young children, the show features a cast of colourful characters, and a host of original songs.
"There's lots in there for the parents, too" said actor Tom Crook, who plays the Gruffalo. "Plenty of jokes about the quirks and struggles of parenting."
He said that parents would be able to relate to the Gruffalo and that the Gruffalo and his daughter have some "wonderful scenes".
He described acting in the show as "amazing" and said that getting to talk to children who love the Gruffalo was very enjoyable. "I'm lucky to be able to play the role. It's a role every actor would want to play."
He's also not the only one in costume some nights, with many children turning up to the show in their own Gruffalo outfits and sometimes rushing to the front of the stage to give the cast presents.
"It's very interactive," Tom said. "Kids will often be clapping along to the music, and dancing in the aisles. "It's about bringing a beloved character to life."
The Gruffalo's Child runs daily at 11am and 2pm from Wednesday to Sunday.
Tickets are £12 for adults and £10 for under-16s. Call 01242 572573.
■ Fans are being given the chance to own their very own Gruffalo. After the successful auction at the recent Meet the Gruffalo Weekend, the Dean Heritage centre in the Forest of Dean has placed a hand-carved 6ft tall sculpture on eBay.
Visit www.ebay.co.uk to place a bid.
All proceeds will go to the Dean Heritage Museum Trust.