Tall Stories’ popular children’s show The Gruffalo has extended its run at the Duchess Theatre, current home of Buddy Holly tribute musical Buddy. This is the third year in a row that the family show has played a Christmas season in the West End, and also its first year at the Duchess. Originally scheduled to end on 4 January 2009, it will now play until Sunday 11 January 2009 having attracted monster crowds to its new West End home.

Buddy continues its normal nightly and matinee schedule, while the 55-minute Gruffalo has 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 Kate Jackson