Skip to main content

George's Marvellous Medicine

Dundee Rep
Three stars

Growing pains don't come much more expansive than those shared by George, the boy alchemist at the heart of Roald Dahl's nasty little tale about how a terrier-like granny is brought down to size by a home-made cocktail of domestic detritus. In Stuart Paterson's Scots-tinged adaptation, first produced by Borderline Theatre and revived here in Joe Douglas' vivid pastel-shaded affair, Ann Louise Ross' Grandma is a bitter old crone in a purple wig and confined to an oversize armchair. With his mum and dad having both left the family farm for the day, poor bored George must tend to Grandma's every whim. When he starts cooking up a magic potion of his own design, however, Grandma gets a breath of fresh air in a way she never imagined.

George is helped along in his poisonous endeavours here by a quartet of colourful characters who
resemble ninjas at a teenage rave. Their status is confirmed, both by Michael John McCarthy's burbling electronic underscore and the little fluffy clouds that hang over the auditorium throughout the show. Ross' ever-expanding Grandma and the genetically modified livestock that result from George's experiments are no hallucination.

While this is far from Dahl's best yarn, Douglas' pocket-sized ensemble of five have as much fun as they can with the material. Ross in particular is in witheringly vicious form as Grandma. As George, the Rep's acting interns Rebekah Lumsden and Laurie Scott alternate the role, with Lumsden taking the lead on Saturday night with gutsy gusto. It is the appearance of a Giant Chicken, however, which really gets the young crowd going in a playful antidote to grumpy relatives everywhere.


The Herald, November 28th 2016

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…