Sunday 15 December 2019

Giraffes Can't Dance

Curve, Leicester
14th December, 2019

Let your worries float away like bubbles

Following their collaboration on George’s Marvellous Medicine two years ago, director Julia Thomas and composer Tasha Taylor Johnson have joined forces again on Curve’s latest festive treat for young people. Thomas’ adaptation of Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees’ Giraffes Can’t Dance is an exuberant show with a strong message: the importance of embracing difference.

Simon Kenny has created the bright, warm colours of the African plains on which we see a variety of animals of all shapes and sizes. Their purpose? Well, through the lens of a David Attenborough documentary, we see that tonight’s the night when all animals come together, politics aside (!), for the jungle dance.

We meet tangoing lions, a rhino comedy double act, moustachioed wild boars, and a cheeky highland baboon. The multi-talented cast of five achieve some impressive quick changes to pull this safari off, getting their teeth into their wild side. But it’s not just the Big Five we meet. There’s also a posse of street-wise beetles, all in shiny puffer jackets, showing off their nifty moves. And then there’s Gerald the giraffe. He wants to dance but is too tall and gangly, as we hear through Taylor Johnson’s catchy lyrics: ‘But when he tried, when he tried, when he tried… he fell down on the ground’. With the help of a cricket, who helps Gerald to realise that it’s OK to be sad sometimes, he finds a different song to which to dance.

Joshua Coley, Sophie Coward, Phyllis Ho, Gracia Rios and Jason Yeboa are all great story tellers. They bring the magic of the story alive with playful theatricality. But they also highlight the story’s heart and don’t shy away from its emotional maturity.

Giraffes can dance,

And Gerald will show you how,

The cast all danced to their own tune,

And finished with a bow.

Giraffes Can’t Dance plays at Curve, Leicester until 5th January

Sophie Coward as Gerald the Giraffe in Giraffes Can't Dance. Credit: Pamela Raith

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