Wonderful Show of Crocodile Teeth

“For my lunch today I would like… a nice juicy little child! “

“Flamingoes always make me do a pink wee wee.” 

The Enormous Crocodile

Malinda Parris as the Crocodile. (Photo: Johan Persson)

It was a magical afternoon at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and four to eight year olds were on their way to, for some, their first exciting theatrical experience.  For me, accompanied by my five year old granddaughter Esmé it was the best introduction to live theatre I could have wished for.  Esmé was there with pencil and notebook to write her own review. 

A quick visit to the merchandise stand for fridge magnets and a crocodile keyring and we were set to enter the auditorium.  A wondrous jungle scene awaited us, the tropical plants forming a green backdrop with the Royal Park’s native trees.  In the centre are clumps of palm trees which can move and provide cover for the animals and children. Entertaining the audience pre-show were the actors flying dragonflies and mixing with the audience. 

Our first view of the Enormous Crocodile (Malinda Parris) saw her going to the dentist with puppet Plover birds intrepidly flying into her mouth to clean her teeth in a show of symbiosis.  It is no accident that these thrilling puppets are designed by Toby Olié who also designed the puppets for Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away at the London Coliseum.

Audrey Brissobn as the Role-Poly Bird (Photo: Johan Persson)

The first song from the Crocodile is “Secret Plans and Clever Tricks” to teach the younger crocodiles how to lay in wait to fill their hungry empty tummy with little children!  The children in the audience are encouraged to be noisy frogs, “ribbid, ribbid!”  The children puppets are very clever, each manipulated by an adult in camouflage jungle suit, their own heads attached to small limbs and a small body in scout uniform. 

The children are advised not to touch anything as we see a big red spider descend and hear about “itchipocitus” which makes your bottom itch.  Trunky (Joanna Adaran) is a beautiful majestic elephant with big wiggly, African elephant ears who joins Muggle-Wump the monkey (Elise Zavou), Humpy-Rumpy the Hippo (Nuwan Hugh Perera) and Roly-Poly Bird (Audrey Brisson) to save the children. 

Audrey Brisson, Nuwan Hugh Perera and Elise Zhavou as the juicy children. (Photo: Johan Persson)

We had a two minute break for a light rain shower and, on our return, the Enormous Crocodile is weaving her way through the jungle in search of “delicious little fingers and squidgy podgy knees.”  With a great soul beat from Malinda Parris, the crocodile sings  “I could eat a child NOW!”

Another rain break for just a few minutes, and the crocodile has three silver domed food covers on legs ready.  Some cute little frogs ask the question, “Do you think you could stop the Enormous Crocodile?”  Everyone decides to “Ask the audience!” and the answer “YES!” is deafening. 

The three children erect their individual tents in a row and Muggle-Wump comes up with a plan to distract the crocodile.  The children in the audience will throw their pre-provided monkey nuts so that the crocodile is too busy eating them to bother the children.  Esmé said she liked this part best.  The universe is called upon to solve the crocodile problem and ends up with another species lost to the planet but with plenty of sizzling sausages.  Esmé said she had eaten alligator in Florida where her other grandma lives. 

The Enormous Crocodile is such an enjoyable show for the children, and adults too.  I find it hard to believe that there were only six actors because it felt like many more.  Beautifully designed and state of the art puppetry, with music, it is the Roald Dahl story which is most accessible for younger children.  The Open Air Theatre is the perfect venue in which to see this brilliant show! 

The Company (Photo: Johan Persson)

Production Notes

The Enormous Crocodile

Book and Lyrics by Suhayla El-Bushra

Original Story by Roald Dahl

Composer and Additional Lyrics by Ahmed Abdullahi Gallab

Directed by Emily Lim



Malinda Parris

Audrey Brisson

Joanna Adaran

Laura Buhagiar

Nuwan Hugh Perera

Elise Zavou


Director: Emily Lim

Co-Director and Puppet Designer: Toby Olié

Book and Lyrics: Suhayla El-Bushra

Choreographer: Vicki Igbokwe-Ozoagu

Set and Costume Designer: Fly Davis

Lighting Designer: Jessica Hung Han Yun

Musical Director: Math Roberts

Sound Designer: Tom Gibbons

Composer: Ahmed Abdullahi Gallab


Running Time: 55 minutes without an interval

Booking until 8th June 2024



Open Air Theatre

Regent’s Park

Inner Circle

London NW1 4NU

Phone: 0333 400 3562

Website: openairtheatre.com

Tube: Baker Street

Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge

at the Open Air at the 1.45pm performance 

on 26th May 2024

Malinda Parris as The Enormous Crocodile. (Photo: Johan Persson)