Turning any of Roald Dahls work’s into theatre is a brave move. Not only are you bringing to life the words of one of the most beloved children’s writers of all time, you are also stirring memories of childhood and kindling magic of moments of youth in the audience. shake & stir theatre co have risen to the challenge in a spectacular way and deliver Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts with all the joy, delight and mutiny that is present in Dahl’s infamous work.
All four of the cast are expressive and dynamic. They don’t hold back and their over the top pantomime approach works so well in this performance. Judy Hainsworth and Nelle Lee manage to switch between roles effortlessly bringing to life characters and narrators alike. Hainsworth as a sassy, selfie-taking Red Riding Hood and Nelle Lee as the Big Bad Wolf were both so bodacious in their performances.
Leon Cain and Nick Skubij had one of my favourite scenes between a farmer and a pig. The fight was perfectly choreographed with sound and lighting taking it to the next level. The scene ends with shadow puppetry and is wonderfully revolting.
The costumes were a bold combination of steam punk, bright colours and frilly knickerbockers that worked so well. Josh McIntosh’s design for the whole show was seamless. The staging was simple yet so effective with trap doors allowing characters and props to appear and disappear with an almost meerkat efficiency.
Together with the cast, the creative minds behind the scenes, create a world where the humour and charm of Dahls writing come to life. Director Ross Balbuziente should be commended for this production. It holds the spice that Dahl peppered into his work and allows new memories to be formed about engaging with Dahl and his work.
Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts had everyone immersed. Young, old and those in between all joined in the revelry as chuckles, snorts, howls, whoops, chuckles and bellows of laughter filled the theatre. shake & stir theatre co really have done it again and this performance is not to be missed.
Sydney Opera House presents
Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts
Adapted for the stage by shake & stir theatre co
Director Ross Balbuziente
Venue: Playhouse | Sydney Opera House NSW
Dates: 12 – 21 July 2019
Tickets: From $35