“Oh Grandma if you only knew what George has got in store for you”
After hearing enthusiastic reviews from several of the little people in my life I was delighted to be invited to 88 London Road to see ‘Georges Marvellous Medicine’. Like many adults, Roald Dahl’s exciting stories enriched my life as a child and helped to make reading an absolute delight – his boundless creativity; like an ‘everlasting gobstopper’ is a gift to the imagination of children all over the world.
George’s Marvellous Medicine tells the story of sweet but slightly mischievous George Kranky who lives on a farm with his parents. Their quaint existence is somewhat disrupted by the arrival of Grandma, a demanding, hard to please, ill-mannered, fusspot of a woman hell bent on moaning about anything and everything! Frustrated by his Grandma’s behaviour George takes it upon himself to meddle with her medicine and create his own controversial concoction which of course has a brilliantly bonkers effect on all those who try it.
This particular story of Dahl’s has been lovingly adapted for the stage by “the national children’s dramatist” David Wood and what a wonderful adaptation it is.
To accommodate the show, the theatre at 88 London Road has been transformed into a picturesque and beautifully intricate set featuring charming details illustrating farm life. Care and attention has been paid to create quirkily labelled bottles instrumental to George’s medicine, along with hay and the unforgettable farm animals.
Rory Maguire, the linchpin of the show, brings George to life with boyish charm and endless enthusiasm making him a loveable and relatable character – never faltering or losing the attention of the children in the audience. Wood’s ‘horrible old hag’ Grandma played by Jenny Rowe truly mesmerises; undoubtedly her performance captured the very essence of Grandma and she stole the first half with her flawless portrayal. Perfectly cast, Dad is played by James Weisz who also happens to direct the show with Tania Newton playing George’s mum, Mrs Kranky. The cast are connected, on point and well suited to one another; it was a joy to watch them perform together.
With modern twists, a fantastically funny cast and hilarious dance routines George’s Marvellous Medicine is a must see for children, parents and carers. So affectionately retold it has positively influenced playtime at home with our very own (safe) medicine situated in the bathroom and at the end of the performance I overheard a parent explaining how she had been swept away by the story and felt like a child again – how very lovely.
What’s even more marvellous is that in buying your theatre ticket, you directly benefit towards two Roald Dahl charities. 10% of all Roald Dahl author revenues goes to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity – which helps seriously ill children to brave the unknown – and to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Writing Centre in Great Missenden – which aims to inspire excitement about reading, writing and creativity. Find out more at www.roalddahl.com/charity and www.roalddahlmuseum.org
George’s Marvellous Medicine is showing at 88 London Road until Saturday 20th August, buy tickets at the link below:
Review by Ellie Talebian