West End to host tale of tiny snail by The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson

14:36 29 August 2013

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler will visit London during its tour.

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler will visit London during its tour.


A show based on a book by the author and the illustrator of children’s favourite The Gruffalo is to tour the country before a West End run over Christmas.

The Snail and the Whale is based on the book of the same name written by former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, who also worked together on The Gruffalo.

It follows the story of a tiny snail who longs to see the world, so hitches a lift on the tail of a humpback whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, experiencing sharks and penguins, icebergs and volcanoes. But when the whale gets beached, how can the tiny snail save him?

Tall Stories, which collaborated on the show with Donaldson and Scheffler, was inspired by the work of Storybook Soldiers, who help British Military personnel abroad to record bedtime CDs for their children back home. The Snail and the Whale is the most requested book by the children for their fathers and mothers to record.

In the stage adaptation, the journey of the tiny snail is seen through the eyes of a very adventurous young girl, who would love to be going round the world with her seafaring father.

The production will be at Jacksons Lane theatre in London on September 7 and 8 before moving to the Rose Theatre in Kingston from September 11 to 14.

It will then embark on a nationwide tour before returning to the capital for a run at St James Theatre from December 10 to January 5.

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