Monday, 2 December 2013

The BFG

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

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