REVIEW: Giraffes Can’t Dance
We ventured deep into the African jungle to watch the annual dance competition where animals of every shape and size go to waltz, tango & cha cha cha! What did we score it? Find out here.
The Jungle Dance happens once a year and Gerald the Giraffe wants to dance but thinks he doesn’t know how. You see, he’s very good at standing tall but when he tries to dance, he’s quite clumsy and just falls.
Based on the bestselling book by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees, Curve has bought the heart-warming tale of Giraffes Can’t Dance to the stage.
The audience interaction was great from the start with the actors walking up and down the stairs asking if anyone “had seen the cricket.” My four-year-old, was a little shy to begin with, but managed to respond with a little whisper of a ‘no.’
Transformed to look like the African desert, the stage is colourful and vibrant. It’s here we meet Gerald (played by Sophie Coward) a wonderful chirpy and gentle cricket (Phyllis Ho) and three very loud, cheeky and colourful beetles who begin by showing off their crazy dance moves.
I loved the beatboxing blue beetle and their hip hop song was catchy – not sure how much my son actually understood, but it did make me chuckle.
Gerald is played wonderfully by Sophie who really draws the audience in with her soft, clear voice. We learn that while Gerald has a long neck, and can run around 35 mph, he can’t quite prance around like he’d like to but he still makes it to the dance.
He watches in awe as the warthogs do the waltz, the chimps do the cha-cha, and the lions dance to the tango – complete with clever costumes and funny animal traits and at times it felt like we were watching the animal version of Strictly Come Dancing.
The dance scenes comes alive with Jason Yeboa, Joshua Coley and Gracia Rios. Their hilarious animal-style antics and enthusiasm – everything from their fancy footwork to their facial expressions – was brilliant.
Of course, poor Gerald wants to dance but fails and ends up feeling ‘sad and small’ but with lots of encouragement from the lovely cricket as well as the audience, he eventually has the confidence to try and dance and when he does, boy does he move.
Against a beautiful moonlit lit background, he prances and dances and even shows off some fantastic aerial silks skills.
I loved the way the underlying message about inclusivity, unity and accepting our own differences, as well as the differences of others was conveyed to the audience and how despite being different, we can still find a way to shine.
Even if you’ve never read the book, go see it!
Catch Giraffes Can’t Dance at Curve until 5 Jan 202o.