Peachy show brings Roald Dahl’s wonder

Grisly but brilliant: James and The Giant Peach
Grisly but brilliant: James and The Giant Peach
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James and The Giant Peach Lyceum Theatre

When it comes to children’s stories you just can’t beat Roald Dahl.

Trying to capture that amazing imagination for the stage is quite another thing.

My family arrived at James and the Giant Peach full of childish questions – in a way that the author would definitely have enjoyed.

How can you make a peach that big? Will it really land on top of the skyscraper?

Despite the youthful inquisitiveness, the children were soon settled in their seats and loving the show.

Instead of over-the-top costumes, each of James’ bugs is armed with a musical instrument or two.

That brings a whole new element of fun, and plenty of chances to set Roald Dahl’s wonderful words to music.

James himself is a meek little boy but his horrible aunts were wonderfully grotesque.

Each scene is brought to life with different elements of theatrical wizardry.

Strange though it may sound, when James’ parents meet the rhino and a grisly end it was a simple yet brilliant piece of theatre.

The children were spellbound – some giggled, some were a tad horrified, and one near us asked her mum, ‘It isn’t real is it?’.

My children’s favourite part included the shark attack.

They had predicted that before they entered the theatre and stuck to it at the end.

Again not overly complicated – just solid acting with a magic sprinkle of ridiculousness.

As the final curtain fell after an hour and a half, both boys declared that it had only seemed like 20 minutes. To them that was a bad thing.

Those taking part in this production should see it as testament to just how well they’ve done bringing this story to life.

James and the Giant Peach is at The Lyceum until Saturday – jump aboard that juicy fruit if you get the chance.