Grug – Live at UWA

Grug is an interactive live show for 2-6 year old children running now at the Dolphin Theatre, UWA. Based on the much-loved picture book character created by Ted Prior, this is a magical performance that you won’t want to miss!

Grug has entertained many children over the years. I remember these as some of the first books I read at primary school. My own child has now gone on to read them, too. So, with this in mind, we were both excited to see this show.

The live show opens with the story of how Grug’s life began. The top of a Burrawang tree fell to the ground and began to change. It grew a nose and mouth, hands and feet. It developed stripes and looked like a small haystack. This is how it became Grug, a curious character who explores his world and solves everyday problems creatively and without fuss.

The story is driven by Grug’s love of packages. The cast deliver him various packages over the course of the 35 minute show, which then helps him solve problems or to have adventures. For example, these include dirt and a seed, a soccer ball and a fishing rod. The performance seems like five or six of the storybooks wrapped into one.

The Grug live show is whimsical and sweet in addition to comedic moments. Miss 7 was roaring with laughter and almost falling out of her seat at times. It’s easy to forget sometimes that Grug and his friends are puppets. They are cheeky and expressive, and you’ll find yourself going, “Aww!” or cheering. The Dolphin Theatre is a cosy venue, and the performances feel intimate as you’re close to the action.

The length of the show is just enough that smaller children shouldn’t get too restless. There’s a movement break about two thirds in with Grug teaching the children how to do “The Grug”, his own special dance. The cast also interact with the audience. Grug grows his garden, and they ask who may have eaten his plants, for example. Not to spoil the ending, but the show concludes with a party, and what child doesn’t love a party?

In terms of sensory-friendliness, we found this show to be very good for kids with sensory issues. The lighting is soft and the musical is gentle. There’s no loud noises or jump-scares to frighten anyone. A relaxed performance with Auslan interpretation is available on Wednesday 17 November at 12pm. The interpreter will be on stage left (the right hand side as you face the stage). So all families will have an opportunity to enjoy this production.

We enjoyed this show and would happily see it again. It’s delightfully playful. If you’ve been reading the books with your children, this is another lovely way to bring the stories to life.

Grug – Live at UWA

Located at The Dolphin Theatre, 35 Stirling Highway, Nedlands.

Show sessions are available twice daily from 16 – 20 November, 2021.

Tickets start at $18. Bookings are essential.

For specific access and seating requirements, including wheelchair tickets, please contact TicketsWA on or 08 6488 2440, 12 – 4pm weekdays.

Parking is available in the green bays in car park 1, near UWA Sport.

About Holly Clark

Holly Clark is currently a stay at home mum of one, a self-confessed coffee addict and a baker of sweet treats. She studied Professional Writing and Editing, and occasionally writes on her recipe blog, Lucky Star's Kitchen

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