How to Hide a Lion

Malvern Theatres


Who doesn’t want a lion for a friend? A lion is just a large cat with an appetite for buffalo and hippopotamuses. Luckily there wasn’t time for eating in Middletown, just hiding and hat shopping as How to Hide a Lion roared on stage at Malvern Theatres.

Pigtails Productions, Polka Theatre and Oxford Playhouse presented this delightfully charming puppetry adaptation of the Helen Stephen’s ‘tail’ about a little girl Iris who hides a lion around her house because she sees the kindness behind the mane.

Hats off to the performers, Stephanie De Whalley and Gilbert Taylor. With a sprinkle of magic the cast bring the story to life. They manage to change the sets, sing and work the beautiful puppets, designed by Samuel Wyer, while involving the audience, leaping the king of the jungle into the seats and under, as Iris does her utmost to hide her not so ferocious friend.

Iris finds the feline animal trying to hide in her garden and he gets stuck attempting to squeeze into her play house. Iris pulls a thorn out of his paw and tries to disguise the loud growls in the house as he jumps up and down on her bed and drinks all her bath water, despite the bubbles.

The jazz tunes composed by Barb Jungr accompany the lion as he leaps about town trying to find yet another place to hide. The set design by Laura McEwen enchants with the illuminated doll’s houses and the subtle shift in perspective.

We all love a good hero and a happy ending and this production has it all as our furry outcast finally gets his hat and becomes a hero rescuing the stolen candlestick from a nasty burglar.

Directed by Peter Glanville this adaptation is magical, funny and delightful for all ages.

To catch ‘How to Hide a Lion’ and to see more tour dates then go to or see it on19 October  in Leamington Spa at The Royal Spa Centre, box office 01926 334418.

Emma Trimble


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