Interview: ‘It’s literally a party on stage’ – Suhayla El-Bushra

21 Dec 2023


Hello! I am Suhayla El-Bushra and I wrote the book and the lyrics for The Enormous Crocodile.

Three words to describe the show
The show is fun, scary (just a little bit) and the other word I want to say is… dancy! Because there are some great tunes.

About the original Roald Dahl story
I used to read The Enormous Crocodile to my kids when they were little. I loved doing all the different voices and they absolutely loved being terrified (and also being delighted). There’s something delicious about feeling safe within a story while also feeling frightened; it’s fun! I really wanted to embrace that and bring it to life.

About transforming the story for the stage
The story is an interesting one for little kids, because it’s the children who are in danger at the heart of it but we don’t focus on their stories; we’re focusing on the bad guy. There’s something fun about embracing Croc in all his evil horribleness. This story is all about the villain which you don’t always get in a children’s story.

About the language
The Enormous Crocodile is a very visual book, and the words are incredibly well thought out and well placed. There’s a joyful use of language and word play – some brilliant rhymes, some fun words, some of which are made up, and some of which are quite old fashioned but really enjoyable to use. So, I just leant into the language that had already been set up and carried on playing with it in the same way it’s played with in the book.

About the rehearsals experience
Watching the story come to life in the rehearsal room has been incredible. On a purely entertaining level, it’s a great story with brilliant characters and fantastic music. Professionally, it’s so exciting to be in a rehearsal room with such a wealth of expertise. Everybody is so good at what they do, bringing incredible skills to the room every day. It’s a very exciting place to work.

If I was the Enormous Crocodile…
If I was the Enormous Crocodile, what would I want to eat more than anything else in the world? That’s a big question. I probably wouldn’t want to eat a child! I would want to eat a roast chicken dinner, followed by spaghetti bolognese, followed by some sort of curry. Because those are my favourite foods.

Why people should see the show
I think people should watch The Enormous Crocodile because it’s literally going to be a party on stage. It’s going to be so much fun. Brilliant tunes, lots of laughs, and great characters that you’re really going to care about. So, yeah, come on down!


    Arts Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • LTB Foundation
  • Principal Partner

    Caddick Group
  • Principal Access Partner

    Irwin Mitchell