Roald Dahl’s classic tale is brought to life by Birmingham Stage Company in their tour of George’s Marvellous Medicine.
Living on a farm in the depths of the country, George Kranky and his parents Mr and Mrs Kranky are keeping busy living their day to day life. George is ecstatic that is it half term, and he is able to spend the whole week reading his book about a little boy with special powers. That is until his mother gets a call from his grandma, who informs the family that she is coming to stay.
Upon arrival, it is evident that she is incredibly demanding and rude to George and his parents. As she takes over George’s room, she reveals her bell in which she rings constantly to order George around. George gets sick of this and decides to give his selfish grandma a taste of her own medicine. By gathering different things around the house, such as curry powder, hairspray and horse tablets, he creates a marvellous medicine which has a dramatic effect on his grandma.
The production itself is highly animated, with exaggerated characterisation and audience participation, it is a play bursting with colour. The set is creatively designed, it is made to look like it has come out of a picture book – giving the audience a real insight into the Kranky’s family home.
Ed Thorpe gives a compelling performance as George, he has incredible stage presence as he excellently portrays his narrative throughout the story. Keeping the audience engaged, his characterisation is bright and lively. Similarly, Deborah Vale gives an outstanding performance as the bad-tempered grandma. She exudes humour with her exaggerative characterisation, as she screeches and wails at George. Deborah’s real life twin sister Tessa Vale takes on the role of the mother, their relation is evident through their fantastic chemistry. Not to mention, Richard Mullins who excels as the mad father that gets highly excited over the medicine George has created.
The production is imaginatively staged, with the use of puppetry to bring the farm animals to life. The costumes are radiantly designed and this is reflected in the exuberant music to transition scenes and hilarious sound effects.
It was delightful to see so many children at the theatre, which is something I am so passionate about. It’s great to have so many children having access to the theatre, which is enhanced by having an abundance of touring shows like George’s Marvellous Medicine that appeal to children at such a young age.
George’s Marvellous Medicine is a fun, exciting production that is engaging and highly enjoyable for the whole family.
On at the Manchester Opera House until the 19th and tickets can be found here.