zog tour


Malvern Theatres


Dust off your wings, throw away that princess dress and hydrate those vocal chords ready to roar with Zog this week at Malvern Theatres presented by Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston.

The world premiere stage adaptation by Mike Shepherd is based on Julia Donaldson’s book, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, nearly a decade ago. Who can forget the animated film last Christmas on BBC One with Kit Harrington, for all you Game of Thrones fans, as the voice of Sir Gadabout.

Zog, (Elliot McKenzie), and friends attempt to win golden stars at Madame Dragon’s School by learning how to roar, breathe fire, battle knights and fly. It’s harder than it looks and Zog ends up with a few knocks and scrapes along the way. Madame Dragon, (Euan Wilson), lets off steam and fires up her students only to end up fighting a losing battle, or does she?

With an original folk score by Johnny Flynn the actor-puppeteers use handcrafted puppets designed and created by Little Angel Theatre co-founder Lyndie Wright to create a musical meandering journey as Zog, Harry, (Dixie McDevitt) and Princess Pearl, (Emily Benjamin), soar to new heights and bottoms.

As Sir Gadabout (Robert Ginty) so rightly points out we are in the month of June and definitely not Panto season however there were lots of ‘He’s behind you!’ shouts and ‘Oh no there isn’t’ and ‘Oh yes there are’ a lot of Panto style prompts to get the audience screeching out.

The real heroes were not the princesses or the knights but the doctors and nurses and Zog found his calling in life as a flying ambulance.

The inventive set design by Katie Sykes allowed the dragons to forward roll their way through their lessons with help from aerial specialist Tina Koch and the sound effects added to the silliness of this less than enthralling retelling.

My six year old daughter told me after the hour was up that she thought it was ‘babyish’ and despite being billed as something for families of all ages I would definitely recommend to pre-schoolers but the humour wasn’t sophisticated enough for all ages hitting a rather bum note.

Emma Trimble


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