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Friday, November 25, 2016

James & The Giant Peach @ Northern Stage - November 24.

(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Topher McGrillis)
The Metro system had ground to a halt, the buses were emulating sardine cans and taxis were in great demand and yet, thanks to a rather large peach, I was transported, not just to Northern Stage, or even Manhattan, but, for 2 hours, back to a time when I was maybe 8 to 11 years old.
David Wood's adaption of the Roald Dahl children's classic was so well done that it became ageless. Indeed, at times it seemed as though the parents were enjoying it as much, if not more so than their offspring.
The adventures of the reluctant hero James and his insect friends as they crossed the Atlantic in a giant peach were beautifully choreographed. The hoofing (dancing) and the songs, composed by Jeremy Bradfield, were very much in the pre-war Hollywood/Broadway musical tradition and it was, literally a non-stop (apart from the interval} whirl.

In the title role, Stan Hodgson, dressed in short pants as children did in those days, played the part to perfection; the orphan, bullied by his cruel, demanding aunts, who find's escape courtesy of some magical beans - Cinderella meets Jack and the Beanstalk?
An absolute hoot!
And, of course, the music,  All very jazzy played by actors who could play rather than musicians who could act. They did it well with Clare Darcy as Miss Spider blowing some 'hot' trumpet and occasional trombone. Tim Dalling, as Grasshopper, played piano and accordion and had my favourite line - "I'm not a pest, I'm a musician". Lana Walker blew alto and took the part of Miss Ladybird. The story, the music, the dancing and the amazing effects all interacted to make this a memorable evening. In Roald Dahl's hundredth anniversary year I think it is safe to say his granddaughter's husband will most certainly have approved.
The show runs until December 31 but don't wait until then - you may want to see it again, and again, and again.
Lance.

1 comment :

Emma Fisk (on F/b) said...

Already got our tickets....can't wait! The kids will be over the moon to find out Tim Dalling is in the show!

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