Zog Live at Cadogan Hall – with 2020 tour dates

Updated November 2019 with 2020 tour dates

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s picture books are frequent fixtures in the Museum household, and Zog is one of our favourites. In the book, Zog is an accident-prone dragon at Madame Dragon’s school who is desperate to earn a gold star. He learns ‘all the things that dragons need to know’ – how to fly, breathe fire, and capturing princesses. Fortunately wanabee doctor Princess Pearl is at hand to treat the ensuing injuries, and to help him get that coveted star. And when Sir Gadabout the Knight tries to ‘rescue’ the Princess, he learns how Pearl has very different ideas about her future. It’s a funny book which challenges stereotypes and is all about following your dreams, and now Zog Live has brought it to the stage. 

The stage adaptation by Freckle Productions is very different to the storybook, although no less uplifting. It adds new sections, dialogue and songs, and changes the emphasis of the story. Here Zog becomes barely more important to the story than the two other cheeky school dragons. Instead it’s Princess Pearl who takes centre stage, refusing to wear a frilly dress and rescuing herself from imprisonment. Her captor? Madam Gadabout, who is now the villain of the story, stripping her pupils of their gold stars.

The beautiful puppets are a highlight of the show, and it’s easy to follow when the actors are playing the dragons themselves, as their costumes match the puppets. Other animal puppets appear from time to time, helping drive the narrative along and adding humour. Our personal highlight was when the dragons learn to fly. It’s worth getting aisle seats, as it was a real moment of wonder having Zog ‘fly’ over our heads.

Overall it’s a lively and energetic show with plenty of chance for audience participation, panto style. The dragons’ bawdy humour will tickle any kid who likes a fart joke. The live folk-style songs, accompanied by guitar, ukulele, accordion or double bass, are unfortunately not that memorable, and the sketch with the mirror ‘reflection’ of Sir Gadabout is indulgently long. But five year old Museum Girl remained spellbound throughout the hour long show.  There was no running around and banging of seats, unlike at the cinema. The adorable soft toy Zog we bought after the show came with us on holiday, as did the storybook. In fact, Museum Girl found the whole experience so inspiring that she now wants to be a ‘theatre showoff’ when she’s older. Here’s to following your dreams, Princess Pearl style.

 

Zog Live runs at Cadogan Hall until 25 August 2019, with tickets starting at £18. For more information, visit http://zoglive.com/

 

2020 UK TOUR LISTINGS

Thursday 6 – Saturday 8 February 2020
The Capitol, Horsham

 Wednesday 12 – Saturday 15 February 2020
King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

Monday 17 – Tuesday 18 February 2020|
St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Wednesday 19 – Friday 21 February 2020
Brighton Dome

Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 February 2020
Artsdepot, North Finchley

Tuesday 25 – Wednesday 26 February 2020
The Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe

Friday 28 February – Sunday 1 March 2020
Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Tuesday 3 – Wednesday 4 March 2020
Becks Theatre, Hayes

Thursday 5 – Saturday 7 March 2020
Fairfield Halls, Croydon

Tuesday 10 – Wednesday 11 March 2020
Palace Theatre, Southend

Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 March 2020
Watford Colosseum

 Wednesday 18 – Thursday 19 March 2020
Stafford Gatehouse

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 March 2020
Gala Theatre, Durham

Monday 23 – Tuesday 24 March 2020
Lincoln New Theatre Royal

Friday 27 – Sunday 29 March 2020
Oldham Coliseum

Monday 30 – Tuesday 31 March 2020
Dundee Rep

Monday 6 – Tuesday 7 April 2020
Chesterfield Winding Wheel Theatre

Friday 3 – Sunday 5 April 2020
Venue Cymru

Wednesday 8 – Saturday 11 April 2020
Liverpool Playhouse

Tuesday 14 – Saturday 18 April 2020
Bristol Old Vic

 Tuesday 21 – Wednesday 22 April 2020
Castle Theatre, Wellingborough

Friday 24 – Sunday 26 April 2020
Victoria Theatre, Halifax

Monday 27 – Tuesday 28 April 2020
The Forum, Barrow

Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 May 2020
Exeter Northcott Theatre

Tuesday 5 – Wednesday 6 May 2020
Radlett Centre

Friday 8 – Sunday 10 May 2020
Kings Theatre, Portsmouth

Monday 11 – Wednesday 13 May 2020
Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Saturday 16 – Sunday 17 May 2020
New Theatre, Peterborough

Tuesday 19 – Wednesday 20 May 2020
Hertford Theatre

Friday 22 – Sunday 24 May 2020
Leeds Town Hall

Tuesday 26 – Sunday 31 May 2020
Rose Theatre, Kingston

Tuesday 21 – Friday 24 August 2020
Sage Gateshead 

Tuesday 28 – Sunday 16 August 2020
The Lowry, Salford

 

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