Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes

This article is from 2009.

It’s nearly 30 years since the publication of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, yet the gory tales still captivate. Clem Silverman and Lewis Baker from the Roald Dahl Museum in Buckinghamshire are capitalising on this enduring narrative magic with readings from the poetic tome and its follow-up, Dirty Beasts.

For Silverman, seeing children’s reactions during a performance is the best part of his job. ‘It’s great to see their faces when I pick my nose or dribble a little bit when reading The Three Little Pigs,’ he says. ‘It justifies me being silly.’

But there’s a serious side to the show as well, in keeping with the museum’s mission to promote children’s literacy. ‘When children come up to you afterwards and say, “I love Roald Dahl, I’m going to read more stories now” – that’s a good experience.’

Silverman and Baker’s show will rely on audience interaction, as well as their own routines for favourites like Cinderella and the Anteater from Dirty Beasts. And, despite some nervousness, they’re very excited about their Fringe run. ‘I came up to the Fringe last year and it was the best experience of my life,’ Silverman says. ‘It’ll be a privilege to be there.’

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 8–31 Aug (not 17 & 24), 12.30pm, £7–£8 (£5–£6). Previews 5–7 Aug, 12.30pm, £5.

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