Snappy days! Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile to premiere in our Courtyard

24 May 2023


Are you ready for a fantastic new family show that will Croc your world this winter?

An exciting new musical version of Roald Dahl’s picture book The Enormous Crocodile, about a huge hungry crocodile searching for a delicious child to have for tea, will bring global contemporary music, world-class puppetry and enormous amounts of fun to our Courtyard theatre from 2 December–6 January.

Presented by the Roald Dahl Story Company in a co-production with the Playhouse and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this marvellously moreish story will be brought to life with a playful, eclectic score by Sudanese American musician Ahmed Abdullahi Gallab (who fronts the band Sinkane), a rib-tickling book and lyrics by Suhayla El-Bushra (The Kilburn Passion, Kiln Theatre; The Suicide, National Theatre; and Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge), and additional music and lyrics by Tom Brady.

Directed by Emily Lim (Everything, Company Three; Pericles, National Theatre), the production will feature a menagerie of mischievous puppets by one of the UK’s leading puppetry directors and designers Toby Olié (Spirited Away, Imperial Theatre Tokyo; The Wolves in the Walls, Little Angel Theatre; 101 Dalmatians, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) who also co-directs, and set and costume design is by Fly Davis.

The sensational show, which will run alongside Oliver! as part of the Playhouse’s incredible festive offer for families, is a key part of a new slate of theatrical work from the Roald Dahl Story Company. As well as The Enormous Crocodile, it has also announced a major new musical of The Witches, co-produced with the National Theatre, an innovative digital theatre production of Dahl’s The Magic Finger, co-produced with the Unicorn Theatre, and a spectacular large-scale Circus inspired by the great author’s stories and beloved characters.

The productions have been created and developed by the Roald Dahl Story Company’s in-house theatre division. Led by Artistic Director Jenny Worton and Executive Producer Anna Schmitz, the theatre division was set up to create and produce innovative productions inspired by Roald Dahl stories in collaboration with world-class artists and leading theatre producers.

Executive Producer Anna Schmitz and Artistic Director Jenny Worton said: “Far beyond simply ‘putting the book on stage’, we want to create original pieces of theatre, which both capture the timeless appeal, characters and spirit of Roald Dahl stories and speak powerfully to today’s audiences.

“With The Enormous Crocodile we want to make a show that speaks to four-year-olds, delights their older siblings and treats their parents to some brilliant music. The music is like Dahl’s stories in its capacity to capture audiences of all generations. It is at once dark, funny and compulsively moreish.”

James Brining, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Leeds Playhouse, said: “Developing any new work is always an exciting process but to be working with such a talented creative team and fantastic partners on such genuinely iconic and well-loved material is a real thrill. We can’t wait to introduce The Enormous Crocodile to the world later this year as part of our dynamic and diverse Autumn/Winter Season. I’m sure that the young audiences who experience the show in Leeds will have a wonderful, magical and memorable time.”

Timothy Sheader, Artistic Director Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, said: “Watch out, there’s going to be a very big and extremely hungry crocodile on the loose in Regent’s Park next summer. Come and help us catch him before it’s too late! We’re thrilled to be working with our brilliant partners to share this story on stage.”


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

    Caddick Group
  • Principal Access Partner

    Irwin Mitchell