At George’s insistence, as he stirred up his giant metal pan of medicine, every child in the Bristol Hippodrome, plus some of the adults, were screaming the spell at the top of their voices, as desperate as George to turn his horrid Grandma into a kind, sweet old lady.
“Bull and cow cure, ” mused George, examining the animal medicines in the shed, “that would be perfect for an old cow! Shall I put it in?”
“YESSSSSS!” screeched Belle on my right, “put it IIINNNN!”
“Come on Bee,” I stage whispered to my left, “join in!”
“I will make an effort to enjoy this,” she hissed back, “but only if you stop trying to make me do things.” I shut up, and went back to rubbing my hands together, trying to help George create enough heat to boil up his latest batch of medicine.
Although the performance lacked some of the Roald Dahl feel – impossible in my opinion to recreate on stage unless all the actors look like Quentin Blake drawings – it was a brilliant and lively show, and judging from the number of kids I could see leaping up and down in their seats, and the unreasonably hysterical laughter coming from an elderly man behind me, it went down well with kids and adults alike.
Clark Devlin was brilliant as George, and Erika Poole made a particularly convincing vicious old woman (sorry Erika…). Our favourite characters though were the chickens, especially the ones that had had a dose of George’s medicine…
In case you haven’t read the book (seriously, what were you doing with your time as a child?), I won’t spoil the end for you, needless to say that George’s father’s dreams of an audience with Richard, Judy and the Pope are unlikely to come true. Desperate to create a farm full of giant size animals, George’s father gets George to recreate his medicine, but without quite the same effect…
An extra highlight was Bee choking on a drink in the intermission, but she probably would rather I didn’t mention that here. My lips are sealed.
If you’re quick, you can still catch the show – it’s on at the Bristol Hippodrome Friday 3 and Saturday 4 September.