Last night we went to see George’s Marvellous Medicine at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
My big girl has had a rough time of it recently so we’ve been trying to make sure we book in lots of mummy-daughter dates. So when I was invited to review George’s Marvellous Medicine, I knew exactly who I was going to take with me. Especially as she’s been reading this fabulous Roald Dahl book at school.
George’s Marvellous Medicine – the plot
8 year old George has a very grumpy grandma who loves to aggravate everyone and takes particular pleasure in scaring George whenever she can. She thinks the world revolves around her and everybody else should too.
The family hate her.
When she comes to stay, everyone is miserable. She is cantankerous, argumentative, and ridiculously demanding, and George can’t understand it. He figures that the disgusting, brown medicine she is always slurping can’t possibly be working properly.
“This medicine doesn’t make her better – it doesn’t make her nicer.”
So he decides to take matters into his own hands… and make her a new medicine – a magical medicine!
This theatre adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book really brought the story crashing into the modern world with all the fun and vibrancy of the original plot. There was rapping, break dancing, selfies, dabbing, and even a remote controlled chicken!
We laughed out loud when Grandma made her grand entrance, clad in leopard print, with a heavy metal soundtrack, flashing lights, and riding a mobility scooter! Brilliant!
Grandma also had an X Factor style buzzer which she would press whenever she wanted some attention.
George was very good at involving the audience at key points in the story. As he found each new ingredient for the medicine, he would hold it up and shout, “In?” and we’d all yell back, “In!” And later on, when the family try to make the medicine for a second time, we were all asked to shout out any ingredients we could remember.
Overall, the show was very good, but I was a little disappointed with how they made grandma grow. This is one of the key scenes in the play and I was excited to see how they would tackle it in a stage production. But it was not the special-effects treat I was hoping for.
Secondly, the end of the show was a bit strange as it was just a song saying “Don’t try this at home”. As a mum, I really appreciate that this important message was included – I don’t want my littlies to start rifling through the cleaning medicine and feeding shampoo to each other! But I feel that the message could have been more integrated into the main part of the show (maybe George could have said it in the context of “Now promise me, you won’t try this at home. This medicine is only for my Grandma”). Instead, it felt a bit like the terms and conditions of an advert all crammed in at the end. And it was a bit of anti-climax to finish with.
As I said, though, overall it was very good, and Jenny certainly enjoyed herself. The cast were funny and engaging, the music was catchy (particularly “Grandma’s got a nasty smell!”), and the story is a classic.
George’s Marvellous Medicine is showing at the West Yorkshire Playhouse until Saturday 17th March so click here to get your tickets booked!
And it is also visiting:
- Nuffield Southhampton Theatres – 20-24 Mar
- Rose Theatre Kingston – 28 Mar – 7th Apr
- Oxford Playhouse – 10 – 14 Apr
- Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse – 17-21 Apr
Have you ever read George’s Marvellous Medicine? What is your favourite Roald Dahl book? Do you like visiting the theatre and why? Let me know in the comments section below.
Disclosure: We were given tickets to the show in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. For more information, please check out my disclosure policy.