WHEN it comes to top-quality children’s productions, the Birmingham Stage Company has a first-class reputation
I was blown away by their stage-version of Skellig, when I went to see it last year - so I had high hopes for this Roald Dahl story.
As you’d expect from Dahl, the story is deliciously dark. Our hero is George - an affable boy who is horrified when his ghastly grandma comes to stay.
Treated like a slave, he’s determined to get his own back and brews up a medicine (mostly from cleaning products).
Luckily there’s a friendly reminder in the programme and at the end of the show that children’s shouldn’t try this at home.
When he feeds his fearsome relation the concoction, there are some rather unexpected results!
Where several films have tried and failed, this play succeeds in capturing Dahl. It’s gruesome, funny, full of life and the action remains firmly on this side of the Atlantic.
Clark Devlin is great as the title character and you soon forget that it’s an adult playing the part. But it’s Erika Poole who steals the show as the horrible grandma. Or at least she would have done - even her great performance is eclipsed by the wonderful production values. I won’t spoil it for you, but the sequence after the harridan has downed the medicine is fantastic.
If you’re looking for a show to take the kids to over Christmas then you won’t be disappointed with this one.
* George’s Marvellous Medicine will be at the Old Rep until February 5. Tickets are available from the box office on 0121 303 2323.