Esio Trot (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

Esio Trot

credit: Kate Burns

Delightful Roald Dahl adaptation by Cambridge students

Roald Dahl’s tale of two lonely people brought together by a tortoise was adapted for the stage by Cambridge University’s Ryan Ammar and brought to Edinburgh by the Uni’s ADC Theatre. The script bolsters the slight story by amping up the villainy and using the tortoise, Alfie, as narrator.

Jack Mosedale is excellent as the haughty, sardonic tortoise, linking the audience to the action without talking down to them. Mr Hoppy (Ben Pope), the hopeless romantic, becomes comically odious with a touch of Edmund Blackadder about his scheming. Humphrey (Dominic Biddle), whose physical and prop comedy – some of which was believably unscripted – is responsible for a lot of the laughs and the cast is rounded out by Helen Charman as Mrs Silver, portrayed with far more depth than the original.

As a group, the chemistry is winning. It all adds up to a thoughtful adaptation that retains the magic of the original story while making the most of live theatre’s possibilities. By utilising interactive touches, as well as excellent audience rapport, the show is a delight for all ages.

Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 25 Aug (not 15), 10.30am, £7–£8 (£5–£6).

Esio Trot

  • 4 stars

AMPB Productions. After a sell-out student success at Cambridge University's ADC Theatre, this 'brilliant new stage production ****' (Varsity) of the classic Roald Dahl story delights children and adults alike with its tale of love and celery, told through the eyes of Alfie the tortoise. Music, juggling, hummus, the…