I happen to share my birthday with Roald Dahl but that isn’t why I love his stories. I have loved his tales since I was little. In fact, it is the first show I can remember going to see.
This show was actually my birthday present from The Boy. It was on at The West Yorkshire Playhouse in the Courtyard Theatre. This is the smaller of the the stages and one we rarely get to go in. We went to see James and the Giant Peach last year and it was spectacular so this seemed like the logical choice for the Christmas show of 2016.
If you’ve read the book or seen the film adaptation (I have not seen this and after hearing about a change to the ending I don’t think I will be) then you know what’s going on but for those that don’t, the basic premise is that witches live amongst us in disguise and their entire goal of being is to eradicate the world of children. Excellent subject plot for a children’s book.
The story itself is quite dark but this play was for 5 years + so it wasn’t too scary. I’ll start by saying that I went in a group of 3 other adults and even though this is basically a children’s play, and there were a fair few school parties in, I felt there was plenty in the show for me.
It was a small cast of just 6 actors who played not only a multitude of parts but also a multitude of instruments! This has to be one of my favourite things about the show was that all the music was integrated into the very fabric of the show. There was a piano on stage, guitars, bass, percussion, saxophone, flute, violin… were all played by the cast during the show. It was beautifully done.
The set was simple but functional and the use of props was also very creative, especially in the second half where things became oversized to help indicate that some of the characters were very small.
I would definitely recommend going to see it if you can, especially if you have children to share it with but even if you don’t it’s a jolly good show. If I’m brutally honestly, I preferred James and the Giant Peach but that’s mostly because they threw a giant inflatable ball into the audience and there was no game of audience catch this year. Other than that it was a wonderful way to spend an evening and a definite highlight of the Christmas period.