Augustine’s @ 41 George IV Bridge
10-14 August 10:00

BFGHaving chosen Roald Dahl’s much loved children’s classic for this year’s Fringe tour, the thespians of Bishop Grosseteste University College (‘Fringe Sell Out’ 2008) were performing to an already captive audience. Yet these imaginative students were not satisfied with a stock rendition, and instead, delivered their adaptation with refreshing and entertaining thoughtfulness.

Both theatrical and multimedial innovations transported the kiddywinkles into the Land of Noddy, of snozgobbles and frogscottles, of strawbunkles and cream, the land where whizzpoopping is never strictly forbidden. The ‘witching hour’ scenes were particularly gripping, with some gruesome giants’s masks, accompanied by a satyr-esque narration in chilling unison. This shivery atmosphere created a vivid and expressive contrast to the bumbling comforts of the BFG himself.

Although the pace lulled disappointingly in the later scenes, as likewise, rather inevitably, did audience concentration levels, the Company’s hybrid of physical and technological theatre was admirable. It blended reality with fantasy on stage seamlessly, which in the end, is no ordinary achievement. Indeed, it was no ordinary children’s show. Yet here lies my only significant criticism: those giants (you know, the ones who crunch up wopsey whiffling human beans for supper every night) seemed spine-tinglingly unsuitable for even the bravest of five year olds. I’d keep the wee ones snuggled safe at home.

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