Wonderman (Gaggle Babble / National Theatre Wales)
By Jon Stapley | Published on Monday 15 August 2016
Roald Dahl it may be, but ‘Matilda’ it is not. Dahl’s short stories for adults are famously twisted, surreal and often murderous, and here they’re brought vividly to life. We follow Dahl himself in a military hospital circa World War II, his head swaddled with bandages as he rockets through the worlds of his own stories. Director Amy Leach’s production makes intelligent adaptational choices – Dahl’s story ‘The Landlady’ for instance, originally a slow tale of creeping dread, is redressed as fast-paced black comedy. The show commits hard, plumping for Dahl’s darkest stories, sometimes verging on the grotesque but always supremely entertaining. With faultless performances, toe-tapping live music and ambitious staging, ‘Wonderman’ is a hugely impressive achievement.
Underbelly Potterrow, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Jon Stapley]