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The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Sometimes I think I have the best job in the world. Today I had the privilege of taking twelve children to London’s Lyric Theatre to watch a production of Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea.
The book is a favourite of mine, with its bold illustrations and magical storyline. I have read it countless times, to my own children as well as children I have taught over the years. And in all those readings not one child has questioned the idea of a tiger turning up unannounced or the fact that it would be impossible to drink all of the water from the tap. There are, in my opinion, two reasons for this. Firstly, Judith Kerr is a very talented story teller and secondly, children are happy to suspend their disbelief if they feel a connection with the characters or plot.
The beauty of this narrative is that the key characters are so loveable. Sophie is an innocent, curious child, who is willing to share her home and tea and the tiger… Well, the tiger is naughty let’s be honest. He strolls in, eats and drinks everything in the house and then leaves. Shocking behaviour! But isn’t that why children love him and maybe even want to be a bit like him?
The stage play is simply stunning. I couldn’t imagine how such a short picture book could be adapted into a 45 minute production, but it has. Audience participation through song and tiger aerobics (yes, tiger aerobics) engages the viewer immediately. The set is a perfect representation of the original images; it’s a faultless experience. Add the fact that the tickets are only £9 – you can’t fail to be impressed. I asked the children what they thought, so I will leave you with the thoughts of a year one child; ‘The play was so amazing. I really loved all of it but most of all the tiger was brilliant. Can we see it again?’


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