Curtain Up: Wonderman

This article is from 2016

Curtain Up: Wonderman

Roald Dahl's adult stories hit the stage

In Gagglebabble's adaptation of the popular author's darker tales, an injured pilot finds himself wandering around a world filled with nightmares.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
Lucy Rivers (writer, composer, performer): The big inspiration for this performance is Roald Dahl's brilliantly dark and twisted short stories, which were first introduced to me when I was a child.

Hannah McPake (actor, theatre-maker): When we realised it was Dahl's centenary, it felt like a perfect opportunity to make a show based on his macabre, mischievous adult stories. We hope it's a perfect fit with our anarchic playful approach to theatre making.

What can the audience expect?
LR: To get properly entertained, a total theatre experience, where all their senses are stimulated, and they are on the edge of their seat with the unexpected twists and turns.
HM: A great night of live music and macabre stories with a sting in the tale.

What would you say your influences are?
LR: I think Gagglebabble draw influence from cabaret, vaudeville, music fall, bouffon. But we also mix that highly theatrical style with a live band / gig aesthetic, which can help bring a real buzz.
HM: We love the work of Kneehigh, Told by an Idiot, Complicite to mention a few. And we're always asking 'what would Tarantino do?'

Why bring Dahl's short stories to the stage?
HM: It's a perfect fit with our anarchic playful approach to theatre making!
LR: A couple of years ago, when we realised it was his centenary coming up we thought it would be a great match to do a show of his wonderful, wicked and imaginative short stories with our darkly theatrical gig-theatre style.

Wonderman, Underbelly Potterrow, until 28 Aug, 6.05pm. £11–£12 (£10–£11).


  • 4 stars

Gaggle Babble and National Theatre Wales Following their 2013 Edinburgh smash hit The Bloody Ballad, multi award-winning theatre company Gagglebabble are back in an exciting collaboration with National Theatre Wales. Wonderman is a unique gig-theatre take on Roald Dahl's short stories for adults, combining a sizzling hot…