Photos – Dylan Evans
George’s Marvellous Medicine is a Roald Dahl classic. It is the timeless story of a young boy who, despite being told not to, gets up to mischief of the most magnificent kind. The revered book has been adapted for the stage by shake & stir theatre co. They have added their own touches and made the stage performance their own without losing any of the charm and delight that lives within this story. They satisfy you by maintaining the spine of the book but surprise you with a creative flare of their own storytelling.
The production has an impeccable sense of timing. This creates a rhythm to the overall production but also enriches particular scenes and moments. Punctuated dialogue creates a lively discourse that entertains the audience and generates a playful and dynamic tone to the overall production. The script is deliciously loaded with puns, innuendo, quips and clever banter that not only keep the heart of Dahl’s remarkable story telling beating loud and clear but also give it new life and modern tones. The cast deliver their lines with perfection never missing a beat.
When taking on a story with such a loyal following that has been building since it hit the shelves in 1981 it might be hard to please everyone. Especially those who grew up with the story and have their own visions of what the characters, set and story should look like. The mastery in this stage performance is that it is not your vision and at first it may feel strange but the cast quickly fold you into their version of the story and hold you with such great performances that you let go and accept this foreign yet fabulous adaptation.
The cast were all independently strong but when engaging with each other they lit up the stage. Nelle Lee and Bryan Probets as George’s mother and father were fantastic. Lee in her cow hide skirt was a blast and she really gave Mrs Kranky her own personality. Watching her fill in the gaps on that character and bringing her into the 21st Century was a real joy to watch.
Josh McIntosh has designed a production that will keep you visually entertained. The special effects are creative and add a wonderful playfulness to the production.
George’s Marvellous Medicine is a real treasure of a story and this production will make you love Roald Dahl more than ever.
Sydney Opera House presents
shake & stir theatre co
George’s Marvellous Medicine
based on the book by Roald Dahl
Director Ross Balbuziente
Venue: Playhouse | Sydney Opera House
Dates: 17 – 25 January 2017
Tickets: $35 – $45
George's Marvellous Medicine | shake & stir theatre co
- Emily Shaddick