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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales

Liverpool Playhouse
March 30 – April 23

Author: Roald Dahl adapted by Jeremy Dyson
Director: Polly Findlay
Producer: Everyman Playhouse, The Lyric, Northern Stage
Cast Includes: Nick Fletcher, Alexandra Maher, George Rainsford, Trevor White, Selina Griffiths, Matthew Kennedy.

Running Time: 1 hr 20 mins

ĎDead Heavy, Fantastic' promotional advert

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website

There is little question that Roald Dahl is a literary genius. Noted more for his children’s novels such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dahl was also a prolific writer of short stories published following the war in magazines such as Playboy which were then collated into anthologies later in Dahl’s career. Adult magazines carrying adult themed, though not in any way pornographic, stories. Could there be a better medium for some sparklingly sinister spinning of yarns?

Well, yes, because once you add Roald Dahl’s literary skills to the adaptive originality of Jeremy Dyson and the vision of Polly Findlay, Twisted Tales results in a quirky re-enactment of some of the Master’s great works. Most notably Bed and Breakfast, a strange little piece about a man in need of accommodation who falls in with an odd old landlady who’s guests never leave, and William and Mary in which a dying man is offered the chance to “live” in unusual circumstances.

Dahl’s success stems from the deceptions he builds into his characters so that what seems to be happening in their lives actually isn’t which is then dramatically revealed in an inevitable twist at the end. To carry this off on stage, an exemplary cast is required and once again the Director and Producers have managed to gather just the right team to hold the audience in suspense whilst also, at the appropriate moments, makes them laugh out loud. Most particular in this is Selina Griffiths, whose delightful nastiness shines throughout in a multitude of roles that bring life to the most incredible of scenarios.

The set is centred around a train carriage that swiftly changes into varying locations and holds just the right amount of periphery to whisk the audience back fifty years, as a huge clock at the rear turns relentlessly backwards. All of which means that the retelling of these most Twisted of Tales makes for an evening of fun that will have those who see them beaming with pleasure whilst also a little disturbed – in a good way – at what they have seen.

Chris High

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website
www.everymanplayhouse.com


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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