Monday, 8 December 2008

Danny the Champion of the World - Bolton Octagon

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Adaptor: David Wood
Director: Mark Babych
Reviewer: The Astbury Family

This was our family's first trip to the Bolton Octagon, and what a fantastic night we had watching the theatres festive offering of Danny the Champion of the World. Telling the story of the survival of Dad and Danny after the death of his mother, and how they overcome the adversity of those around them.

The set of petrol station foreground and caravan was used to great effect throughout the play staying the same throughout, but with an excellent lighting design you were transported to the woods and various locations with ease.

Mark Babych's direction is slick and with a great adaptation by David Wood makes sure that this is a production that is fast and very punchy from the off, the actors are very versatile with many doubling roles and even creating sound effects needed for the show. This small cast perfectly bring to life Dahl's characters to the stage, with exciting physicalisation making sure you were glued to the stage not wanting to miss a single second. Des O'Mally (Danny) needs a special mention, this is an actor with a great depth and range of emotions, and at times brought laughter and lumps in the throat with ease and expertise.
Like any festive offering, you are to expect some audience participation and this show was thankfully full of it, making sure the audience were not just watching the story unfold in front of them but truly part of the theatrical magic. My Son and his friend watched eagerly all the way through the production, even enjoying being completely daft by making noises, foot stamping and clapping.

This is an excellent and not to miss family production, highly recommended.

Lloyd age 8
I was taken to see this as a birthday treat, and my friend and myself had a fabulous time, we laughed all the way through, my ribs were aching by the end. I haven't read the book but I am going to as soon as possible. It was also really great to meet Thomas Aldersley who was great fun. I had a fantastic time and want to thank all the cast for making it extra special.

Photos: Ian Tilton
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