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Tall Stories Theatre
Friday, January 18, 2013

By Doug Osborne-Coy

Following sold-out performances in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States, Tall Stories Theatre Company of Great Britain comes to Marvel Theatre at SUNY Fredonia on Thursday, Jan. 31 with its production of “The Gruffalo.”

This is a Kaleidoscope Family Series event sponsored by The Observer and First Niagara Bank as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season at Rockefeller Arts Center. “The Gruffalo” is approximately one hour in length and is recommended for ages 4 and up. Tickets are available through the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by telephone at 673-3501 and online at

Adapted from the Blue Peter and Smarties Gold award-winning book, “The Gruffalo” follows the character of Mouse into “the deep dark wood on a lunchtime hunt for hazelnuts.”

Armed with just a nut map and a very vivid imagination, Mouse must outwit the wheeler-dealer Fox; an eccentric, retired Woodland Air Force General Owl; and the maraca-shaking, party animal Snake. Mouse succeeds with stories of a monster – who turns out not to be as imaginary as she thought.

In a production that has become the “toast of London’s West End,” Tall Stories vibrantly reinvents this delightful tale through its signature style of multifaceted storytelling.

Directed by Tall Stories’ co-founder Olivia Jacobs, this production features performers who “fill the forest with colorful characters and toe tapping, sing-along songs.”

Presenting timeless stories with a unique twist, London’s Tall Stories Theatre Company has quickly become “a jewel in the British crown of theatre.” The company creates each production from scratch by combining the original text with the “ensemble’s collective imaginations.”

With its “portable” plays, Tall Stories links “exquisite acting and elegant staging” with original music to create lively theatrical experiences accessible to all. Delighting Scottish, British, Canadian and American audiences, the troupe has toured extensively for the last 15 years.

Founded in 1996 by directors Jacobs and Toby Mitchell, Tall Stories Theatre Company has consistently earned both national and international acclaim for its productions.

This will be a return engagement for Tall Stories Theatre Company at Rockefeller Arts Center. The company presented “The Gruffalo” in December of 2003, also as part of the Kaleidoscope Family Series. That performance was met with very positive reviews.

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