Entertainment Hive 2020
Tigerrific story brought to life on stage By Honey B What could be more exciting than a tiger coming to tea? Actress Abbey Norman laughs and says: "Not much really!'' The petite British thespian, she's only 1.47 metres tall, is revelling in playing the role of Sophie in Judith Kerr's much- loved children's story, The Tiger Who Came To Tea. "It's so much fun and such an honour to be in David Wood's theatre adaptation of the book,'' she enthuses. "Judith Kerr's children's story is almost 50 years old and it's still one of my favourites.'' The story was first published in 1968 and it details the day of young Sophie and her mum who are having a very ordinary day at home when the doorbell rings. Sophie opens the door to find a hungry tiger there who invites himself in for tea. Norman says as a youngster it was an exciting moment when the doorbell rang. "Of course we never had a tiger at our door, but as a child when the doorbell rang you would always jump up to see who it was. "I have to say it would have been exciting to have had a tiger come to the door. "But in our play we get more than just a tiger coming to the door. David Wood has given the tale a bit more of a back story and it starts in the morning with Sophie's dad at the breakfast table and he's late for work. "Then we get all sorts of people coming to the door from the postman to the milkman. "The kids just love it because every time they are expecting the tiger to be there and it just heightens the excitement until he finally does arrive.'' Norman says their tiger is very lifelike. "The tiger costume is absolutely wonder, it is so huge and he seems so real. "It's fantastic to see the children's reactions to the tiger and he looks exactly like the tiger in the book.'' Norman says everything from the costumes to the staging replica the book exactly. "The production is absolutely gorgeous and it looks like we absolutely stepped out of the pages of the book. "I even wear tights just like Sophie's chequered ones in the book. "This play is very faithful to the book, but we do add new elements such as a bit of tiger aerobics and of course there are fun musical numbers. "There is nothing like taking children along to a live show and the young audiences have so much energy. It's a dream job.'' The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Her Majesty's Theatre, Friday, January 22 to 24. Bookings: BASS 131 246
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