Sunday, 16 December 2018

Dahl’s magical tale is a quacker!

Infused with magic and sparkle, we were immersed in this delightful tale of a girl with special powers who can set the world to rights and deliver some life lessons with a mere wave of her finger.

Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger South Hill Park, Bracknell
Thursday, October 27


Infused with magic and sparkle, we were immersed in this delightful tale of a girl with special powers who can set the world to rights and deliver some life lessons with a mere wave of her finger.

Confronted with the notion of going on a duck hunt, Lucy cannot control her anger and finds herself intervening on her friend William’s parents’ farm - with exponential results.

With a glorious backdrop of colour, silhouettes, cogs and patchwork, there was a little bit of everything here. Clever animation, puppetry, dress-up and role play was enhanced with great costumes – especially when used to illustrate both people who have been turned into ducks and ducks who are experimenting with living life from a human vantage point.

The music also had a part to play, with one of my favourite tunes, Camille Saint-Saens’s The Aquarium, making an appearance, complemented nicely by a moonlit stage.

There were wondrous little touches, such as aerial scenery whizzing past as special effects, flying sequences and comical big ducks’ bottoms.

My two sons’ favourite moment involved some duck poo target practice and the audience hooted with laughter throughout. I loved the little in-joke where a character is reading the Oxford Roald Dahl dictionary on stage.

In the centenary year of Dahl’s birth, this is definitely a quacker of a production and the perfect half-term treat.

Brought to us by the team at South Hill Park, adapted by David Wood, directed by Joe Malyan and with design by Victoria Spearing, this tight-knit cast included Laura Hannawin as Lucy, Michael Aiyotis as William Gregg and Julian Hirst and Caroline Loveys as Mr and Mrs Gregg. Heather Wilson, Max Puplett and Sam Gillett also trod, and waddled, the boards.

Until Saturday (October 29).

Review by Natalie Aldred



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