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Posts Tagged ‘George Rainsford’

I have fond memories of reading these tales and watching the TV adaptation (as I write, I can hear the theme tune in my head!), though it feels like forever ago and I can’t remember the detail of any of them.

What Jeremy Dyson has done for the Lyric Hammersmith is to link a number of the tales together ‘framed’ by the arrival of a stranger into the carriage of a commuter train (I think this is the adaptation rather than written by Dahl, but I could be wrong) and it’s surprisingly effective.

Some scenes were exceptionally funny, some head-turning nasty and one set in a public school positively chilling. It’s a fascinating concoction and it’s beautifully staged by Polly Findlay ,with a revolve changing scenes quickly, and played by a small cast of six. I particularly loved Selina Griffiths’ turns as grotesque predatory landlady and revengeful wife and George Rainsford and the boy (I don’t know which one was performing on the night we went) as the public school bully and his ‘fag’. There’s no set, just a few props and a great use of sound (by Nick Manning) for atmosphere and tension.

I was surprised when it ended after 80 minutes; this left me with the feeling that I’d just watched work in progress or unfinished business – as much as I enjoyed what I saw, I left feeling hungry. I can see why you wouldn’t want to halves, but the one half could maybe be more substantial – another tale or two?

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