Christmas 2014: David Wood's musical The BFG set for Edinburgh shows
'It's rude, fun, moving and totally bonkers'
Featuring Roald Dahl's lovable creation, The BFG (aka the Big Friendly Giant) is a family tale that never fails to delight audiences. And at Christmas time, it has become an alternative at many theatres for the traditional pantomime. With Dahl's winning formula of gross-out humour, feisty little girl hero Sophie (based, of course, on Dahl's now-famous granddaughter) plus a dollop of adult-baiting, it's truly heart-warming without being overly sentimental.
The Lyceum is staging this adaptation by David Wood and directed by Andrew Panton. 'If you love the book, I think you'll love this adaptation,’ says Panton. 'It's rude, fun, moving and totally bonkers.' Wilful anarchy is at the heart of Dahl's universal appeal, which encourages children to read, think for themselves and never, ever trust grown-ups. 'What Roald Dahl achieves is to help us all regress to childhood,’ insists Panton. ‘Whether we're reading his books or watching his stories told on stage or screen, you can't help rooting for the kid at the centre of the story; often we want to go with them into these magical, crazy lands that he creates.'
Panton promises plenty of surprises in the Lyceum's magnificent space, the spectacular set design and costumes having been created by long-time designer and Panton collaborator Becky Minto. The two have found a way into recreating a vivid landscape of the imagination, despite the many challenges an ambitious adaptation presents.
'Scenically, it's quite a tricky story to tell in terms of creating the different worlds that Sophie and the BFG have adventures in. Let's just say that we've had a lot of fun messing about with giants and dreams and helicopters and Snozzcumbers'. The BFG is a show that will thrill all ages, but beware the villainous Gizzardgulpers and Fleshlumpeaters: they are looking a tad peckish and are bigger than you …
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 28 Nov–Wed 3 Jan.