The Girl & The Giraffe at 1532 Performing Arts Centre, Bristol Grammar School

Tobacco Factory Theatres have a brand new venue as part of their BEYOND off-site season, in the shape of the 1532 Performing Arts Centre at Bristol Grammar School. It was here that I took my 5 year old to see The Girl and The Giraffe over half term, which is a production by Half Moon and Floods of Ink aimed at 3 to 6 year olds. The show is directed by Titania Krimpas, written by Amber-Rose May and Laurence Alliston-Greiner, with original music by Greg Hall. Cast members Amber-Rose May and Laurence Alliston-Greiner bring this lovely little story to life with humour and charm.

The Girl and the Giraffe is a heartening show about exploring your garden, your friendships, and your expectations. We follow our protagonist, known only as Girl. Girl finds an unlikely friend whilst playing at the bottom of the garden. Over the fence lies the most unexpected of companions and she comes face to face with a giraffe! Their friendship grows but Girl discovers that giraffe is not well. She tries to understand her new friend’s needs, and encourages him through adventure and gentle reassurance but begins to understand that its not a sticking plaster or medicine that giraffe needs to get better. Giraffe is sad; this play told from a child’s perspective looks at how the two work together towards a contented friendship. Its not that Giraffe is not ‘fun’, he just needs the helping hand of a true friend who is able to see his big heart.

This is a lovely show with wonderful puppetry. There are giggles, compassion, and a catchy ditty about mixing and baking a cake, along with a sweet example of the value of writing and reading in friendships. My little one loved it and we both loved the magical space that had been created. A lovely half term treat, and perfect theatre for little ones.
Review by Annie Vanbeck

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