Lively rendition of Roald Dahl tales
This article is from 2011.
The two performers at the helm of this manic hour may be young (one of them had just received their A Level results the day I saw them) but already they’ve honed considerable performance skills. Not only that, they’ve also amassed a considerable capacity for audience empathy, knowing exactly how to handle the younger and older members of the crowd (and even trying not to wake a sleeping baby).
Hailing from the Roald Dahl Museum in Buckinghamshire, they also know their stuff. The show opens with a lone chair sitting centre stage, a copy of Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes lying on it. But if the implication is of a storyteller about to sit down for a cosy fireside-style session, then the reality couldn’t be more different. Instead, these energetic performers romp around the stage – and the audience – delivering three of Dahl’s quirky re-worked fairytales, and one creation of their own, very much in the Dahlian tradition.
First up is Cinderella, but although the major players are all there – Prince Charming, Fairy Godmother, aesthetically challenged sisters and the eponymous heroine – they’ve all been suitably Dahl’d. Charming fails to live up to his name and chops off the head of anybody too ugly to marry and Cindy (as she’s now known) ends up marrying a local boy with more moral fibre. Alternative versions of Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs and original work The Mad Monk follow – each one delivered with much silliness and enthusiasm.
There is little here in the way of production values, with no set, costumes or lighting design to frame the tales. But the comic timing, tireless exuberance of the performers and touches of well-placed audience participation ensure this is a fun experience for all ages.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, 12.30pm, £8 (£6).