Tall Stories’ popular children’s show, The Gruffalo, returns to the West End this Christmas for a third year, running for the first time at the Duchess Theatre, home of Buddy Holly tribute musical Buddy.

The Gruffalo plays at the Duchess from 26 November 2008 to 4 January 2009. With Buddy continuing its normal nightly and matinee schedule, the 55-minute Gruffalo will have daytime performances at 11am Tuesdays to Fridays, 10.30am and 12pm on Saturdays, and 11am and 1.30pm on Sundays.

The Gruffalo follows Mouse into the deep dark wood on a hunt for hazelnuts. Armed with just a nut map and a vivid imagination, Mouse runs into wheeler-dealer Fox, retired Woodland Air Force officer Owl, and party animal Snake. Rather than becoming the main course of their next meal, Mouse scares them away with stories of an imaginary monster friend. But what happens when he comes face-to-face with the very creature he imagined?

Tall Stories’ stage show is adapted from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s multiple award-winning book of the same name. Published in 1999, it has become the biggest selling picture book ever in Britain, having sold more than two million copies worldwide and been translated into over 20 languages. Its sequel The Gruffalo’s Child was named Children’s Book of the Year at the 2005 British Book of the Year Awards.

Mark Peachey plays the Gruffalo. The cast also includes Tom Warwick and Alice Parsloe. Tall Stories was founded in 1996 by directors Olivia Jacobs and Toby Mitchell, who helm the production, which is designed by Isla Shaw. The Gruffalo is presented in the West End by Kenny Wax Ltd and Nick Brooke Ltd in association with Tall Stories.

- by Terri Paddock