‘Can you fit a whole world inside a book? What do you think? A whole world?’, asked the eager storyteller.
‘Nooooooooo’, roared the children.
‘Well let’s see…..’, the storyteller replied from her seat in Charlie Cook’s armchair, before rolling back a bookcase to reveal a secret world inside a book(case).
A World Inside a Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures is the new immersive exhibition created by Discover. It brings to life the wonderful creatures created by Julia Donaldson (author) and Alex Scheffler (illustrator) in a way that has never been done before.
As the bookcase slides back, the children gasp and squeal. What is this trickery? What could be more exciting to the young mind than a secret door?
The children run, in a herd, into this magical world with their eyes wide and what should be the first thing they see but The Gruffalo standing right in front of them? What’s more, there’s costumes handing next to him so they too can have purple prickles all over their back. Posey put one straight on, despite the heat, while Teddy ran in the opposite direction and laid on the floor to study the model village from The Smartest Giant in Town, fascinated by how small everything was. He felt like George himself.
Zog is flying fast and free overhead and Princess Pearl has left her doctors bag behind for budding nurses to experiment with. There’s a boat (without a sail) to sit in or why not have a lay down in the old lady’s house. It’s not a squash or a squeeze, there’s plenty of room.
You can dress like the witch, mix up a potion and ride on her broom. But don’t forget the magic words. IGGETTY. ZIGGETY. ZAGGETY. ZOOM. You can sail a boat. There’s a whale. And somewhere above, monkey is working on her puzzle.
It is a world we all know well. What child doesn’t adore these stories? They are childhood classics (of the future).
We loved the whole thing from start to finish and the fact that the exhibition is being shown at Z-Arts makes it even better for me. If you haven’t been to Z-arts before, you simply must. I performed there back in the day (pretentious much?) so it holds a lot of nostalgia for me. Bias aside, the venue has a great ethos and is very community centred. It boasts a wealth of diverse work and is a very welcoming and inclusive space.
If you get the chance to go to this exhibition, you will not be disappointed. We will definitely go back. It runs until February 2020, so there’s plenty of time.
Let your inner kid run wild.