George’s Marvellous Medicine - Theatre review

Hi-jinks and hilarity ensue in this stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s engaging GEORGE’S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE at the Bloomsbury Theatre.

THE easy thing about adapting a Roald Dahl tale for the stage is that the jokes, silliness and fantastic happenings are all there for you. Of course, it’s those very same fantastic and stupendous events that doubtless posed some real problems for the Birmingham Stage Company.

While they may have quietly dropped a couple of twists, the centrepiece here is George’s gran stretching skywards and crashing through George’s parents’ roof; a real spectacle and cleverly done in front of your eyes.

Highlight of the night though was not the entertaining hi-jinks of George (cherubic CBBC fodder Clark Devlin) as he raced between garden shed (engine oil) and bathroom (toothpaste) for ‘medicinal’ ingredients for his vile-sounding potion, but the gruff, grouchy cabbage-eating Grandma.

Delivered with delightful, spiteful panache by Erika Poole, her nigh-on absence from the second half was a shame. But there was plenty of madcap slapstick, tomfoolery and audience participation to keep the young ones entertained throughout – from George’s fizzing, steaming concoction to seven-foot chickens and clever puppetry.

A ridiculous romp for all – just don’t let your kids near the cabinets afterwards!

* Showing at the Bloomsbury Theatre in Gordon Street, WC1, until Sunday, January 23.