Dundee Rep Four stars A birthday party to beat them all is the result when a children's entertainer fails to turn up in David Wood's stage adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic story about a little girl called Sophie's unlikely friendship with the Big Friendly Giant, who whisks her away from the orphanage she lives in. By framing the story with another girl called Sophie's party, as she and her pals hit the dressing up box to tell Dahl's story, it takes an imaginative leap into a world of creative play which the young audience can draw inspiration from in Joe Douglas' bright and bold production. The appearance of Sophie and The BFG in both human and puppet form lends proceedings an even more fantastical essence. Ali Craig's BFG is a wide-eyed vegetarian hippy type who collects dreams before planting them in the minds of sleeping children. Isolated from his flesh-eating contemporaries for simply being too nice, and with a unique line in word-inventing patter, The BFG wiles away his days munching on gut-wrenching oversize vegetables and necking flatulence-inducing fizzy drinks. Both help save the day when the other giants attempt to munch their way around the globe. As played out on Jean Chan's topsy-turvy set, Douglas' production captures the story's sense of wonder, with both Craig and Stephanie McGregor as Sophie operating their puppet selves with considerable charm. The magical atmosphere is accentuated even more by Michael John McCarthy's jaunty musical score, and there is fun to be had from Emily Winter's cut-glass impression of the Queen. It's when we finally see The BFG stretch to his full height, however, that the show becomes truly massive.
The Herald, December 2nd 2013 ends