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The Smartest Giant in TownPuppet performance, length 40 min

The Smartest Giant in Town
Following the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo's child, who had to face their fears in a forest full of predators, and the adventures of a not-at-all evil witch in ‘Room on the Broom’, the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre returns with ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, a production based on another bestselling book by the acclaimed Scottish writer Julia Donaldson and the German illustrator Axel Scheffler. Directed by Jaka Ivanc and adapted for the stage by Jure Karas, with original music by Davor Herceg, this is a playful portrayal of the value of generosity and helping each other.

The protagonist of the story is the scruffiest giant in town who, having decided it was time for a new look, buys himself some new clothes. With new socks, shoes, tie, shirt, and trousers, he becomes the smartest giant in town. But on his way back home, he runs into friends who have all found themselves in a pickle: the giraffe is sniffing sadly, the goat had his sail blown away in a storm, the mice lost their home, the fox lost her sleeping bag, and the dog keeps getting stuck in the mud. The poor animals all need the giant's help. So the selfless giant gradually gives all his new clothes away, becoming more thinly dressed and colder with each animal he meets. When, finally, he finds his old clothes to get warm again, he is back where he started – being the scruffiest but also the cosiest giant in town. Good is returned with good, however, and the animals bring him a thank you present and help him realise that while his deeds may not make him the smartest, they surely make him the kindest giant in town.  

Based on the story about appreciating what you’ve got and being ready to share this with those in need, the production sends a warm message about goodness, compassion but, above all, about solidarity and friendship. The goodhearted giant reminds us that, rather than material possessions, what truly matters is human generosity and kindness.

Throughout the giant’s journey, the performance keeps changing and shifting in a dynamic play of perspectives. The interplay between distance and closeness, between big and small, and between various dimensions fires the audience’s imagination and broadens their horizon. The songs, the visual design, the cheeky adaptation, and the wealth of puppetry techniques employed all come together to bring the entire stage to life.

Opening night: 20 December 2020, LGL Grand Stage

The production is also available on-demand at The price is EUR 5 for a 48-hour viewing window, payable by credit card or PayPal.

Author: Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler
Directed by: Jaka Ivanc
Art design: Natan Esku
Music: Davor Herceg
Adaptation: Jure Karas
Cast: Jure Lajovic, Martina Maurič Lazar, Iztok Lužar, Polonca Kores, Lovro Finžgar, Zala Ana Štiglic, Jože Šalej k. g./ Davor Herceg k. g.
Set design: Žiga Lebar, Jaka Ivanc, Natan Esku
Puppet technology: Žiga Lebar
Language coaching: Martin Vrtačnik
Accompanist and author of arrangements: Jože Šalej
Lighting design: Kristjan Vidner
Stage manager and sound designer: Aca Ilić
Producer: Alja Cerar Mihajlović
Set, puppets and costumes production: Zoran Srdić, Iztok Bobić, David Klemenčič, Sandra Birjukov, Marjeta Valjavec, Zala Kalan, Polona Černe, Žiga Lebar, Olga Milić, Uroš Mehle s.p.
Set technician: Slobodan Ilić, Uroš Istenič, Stanko Božanić, Luka Moškrič