The Snail and the Whale

Previewed 10 December 2013, Opened 12 December 2013, Closed 5 January 2014 at the St James Theatre (now The Other Palace Theatre)
Returned 30 November 2019, Closed 5 January 2020 at the Apollo Theatre

Tall Stories' present a stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's children story book The Snail and the Whale in London for a strictly limited holiday season this Christmas

"How I long to sail," said the tiny snail... A tiny snail longs to see the world, so she hitches a lift on the tail of a humpback whale. But when the whale gets beached, how will the snail save him? Follow the tiny snail's amazing journey, as seen through the eyes of an adventurous young girl and her seafaring father.

Storytelling, live music and lots of laughs, in a show for everyone aged 4 and up. Tall Stories use a physical story telling style combined with humour and original music to create a lively theatrical experience that embraces its audience.

Devised by Toby Mitchell, Olivia Jacobs and the Company. Directed by Toby Mitchell with designs by Olivia Jacobs and Isla Shaw, lighting by James Whiteside, and music and sound by Richard Heacock. Tall Stories' have previously presented The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom on stage in London.

Tall Stories' co-artistic director Toby Mitchell said: "We've wanted to make this book into a show for years but we couldn't find a way of telling it on stage. The snail is a tiny thing that wants to go around the world with a big thing, so we thought of a little girl at home with her father abroad. You get two stories for the price of one. Julia Donaldson wasn't overly sure at first, but after she saw it she said it was her favourite one. We put on shows we like watching. You have to keep children in mind, the story has to be clear, well told and interesting. But you find that they really enjoy the challenge of keeping up, and grown-ups enjoy it as well which is a bonus."

"Stage adaptations of children's stories are getting better and more creative... now Tall Stories bring more than a little imagination to this version of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's much-loved tale about a little snail who wants to see the world and hitches a ride on a whale's tail. The problem is how to turn such a short picture book into a 50-minute show, and Tall Stories come up with an ingenious framing device in which the story is being told by a father to his daughter. The father is a sailor and will shortly be heading off to sea, so will be unable to continue the bedtime story... The theme of love and separation is handled with a grown-up attention to detail that never patronises its young audience. Donaldson's story doesn't get lost: it's magnified by the framing and given an extra emotional punch... It's a small show but, like Donaldson's little snail, it has bigger ambitions and wider horizons than is often the case in this kind of title-led theatre." The Guardian

The Snail and the Whale in London at the Apollo Theatre opened on 30 November 2019 and closed on 5 January 2020 - special daytime performances.