Tall Stories’ popular children’s show The Gruffalo will return to the West End this Christmas for a fifth year in a row. Following its seasons at the Duchess, Apollo, Criterion and Soho Theatres, it reopens this festive season at the Garrick Theatre on 24 November 2010 for a run to 16 January 2011, with daytime performances at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 2pm (dates vary).

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, premiered in 2006, is adapted from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s multiple award-winning book of the same name. In the years since it was published in 1999, it has become the biggest-selling picture book ever in Britain, having sold more than four million copies worldwide and been translated into 38 languages. Its sequel The Gruffalo’s Child was named Children’s Book of the Year at the 2005 British Book of the Year Awards.

Casting for the new West End dates has not yet been announced. Tall Stories was founded in 1996 by directors Olivia Jacobs and Toby Mitchell, who helm the production, which is designed by Isla Shaw, with music by Jon Fiber, Olivia Jacobs, Robin Price and Andy Shaw. The Gruffalo is presented in the West End by Kenny Wax Ltd and Nick Brooke Ltd in association with Tall Stories.

Other daytime children’s shows sharing venues in the West End this Christmas are Potted Panto at the Vaudeville (concurrently win An Ideal Husband) from 10 Decmeber, Peppa Pig's Party at the Criterion (home of The 39 Steps) from 30 November and The Night Before Christmas at the Ambassadors (home of Stomp) from 7 December.