GIANT follows the never-ending, whirlwind of generations in protagonist, Tommy’s family. This quirky depiction of the hustle and bustle of family life is jam packed with puppetry, poetry, brash clown make up and copious amounts of cardboard boxes.

jam packed with puppetry, poetry, brash clown make up and copious amounts of cardboard boxes

With direction from Florence O’Mahony, The Human Zoo - garbed in antique dusty pinks - they engage with the audience candidly with various ‘wink wink nudge nudge’ gags.

The piece explores humans of all ages fulfilling their ‘roles’ in society, with the stressed intern, the fed-up mother, the odd uncle, the forgetful grandmother and the old-fashioned grandfather. The actors are playful in their approach to these roles, allowing the audience to find enjoyment in these familiar characters too. Nick Gilbert mesmerises with his comical hand routine, portraying a clever microcosm of life, a theme prevalent within this piece; a box within a box, a life within a life.

The set consisted of a simple arrangement of boxes and doors, with two large red curtained entrances. Conventions were mixed, with various props being made from cardboard whilst others were not, causing a minor disruption to an otherwise well assembled aesthetic.

The actors are capable musicians and brilliantly underscore several movement and poetry numbers with the accordion, guitar and drums. Sound Designer, Charlie Jeffries, enhances the piece with excellent fusions of styles, from tinkling tunes to chaotic beats and electro-swing compositions. The Human Zoo’s self-confession of ‘questionable cabaret acts’ rings true, with comedic yet vague dancing.

Although the secret within the attic is set up well with frequent rumbling sounds, the appearance of the Giant is not entirely explained, creating confusion as to where it fits within this story. Despite minor confusion, the piece changes rhythm skillfully, from slow motion dancing to a chaotic office, with the pace only dropping in cabaret or poetry scenes that would have benefited from being a little snappier.

The only vital problem throughout the piece is the absence of that charming, youthful, urgent passion to perform. The ensemble feel overly casual in their approach and are often pre-empting movements. Overall, the themes explored throughout are relevant and appropriate to a wide audience and the ensemble must be commended for their ‘Relaxed Performance’ accessibility scheme. The stage came to life most when the entire ensemble was present, with their inventive, stylised storytelling providing chaotic visuals. 

Reviews by Faye Butler

The Warren: The Hat

Shit-faced Shakespeare: Macbeth

The Warren: The Hat

Late Night Gimp Fight: 10 Years Still Broke

The Warren: The Burrow / The Warren: The Nest

Hot Mess: Bezzie Mates

The Warren: The Blockhouse

From The Cradle To The Bin

The Warren: The Nest


Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

Bryony Kimmings: I'm a Phoenix, Bitch


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Tommy, 22, lives with three generations of his family. They’ve learnt to ignore the strange things his nan says over dinner, and the bizarre rumblings coming from the attic. Horribly honest clowns and questionable cabaret acts ignite the stage with Human Zoo’s trademark live music, puppetry, poetry and movement. ‘GIANT’ is an explosive, absurd and visceral adventure into ‘adulting’... Could Tommy’s nan know more than meets the eye? “Witty, winsome and inventive. It is rare to find such a generous ensemble as The Human Zoo” **** (The Stage).

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Only Fools and Horses - The Musical

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets