George’s Marvellous Medicine – Review

Illyria
reviewed by Jenni Balow

George’s grumpy granny gets her come-uppance, literally, in this gloriously gleeful pantomime of a show for Schools Week at the Minack.

Talk about putting your granny on a pedestal, this one really takes the biscuit, as Grandma (Angela Nesi) grows the longest legs in show business, after taking a spoonful of magic medicine.

Once again, Sennen’s Oliver Gray links with David Wood to direct and adapt this lesser-known Dahl novel, with the fun and gusto youngsters enjoyed last year when Illyria presented Babe the Sheep-Pig.

This year they are touring the play all over England and Wales, ending their run in the Netherlands, and it is sure to go down like a spoonful of sugar for youngsters everywhere.

Thousands of children will be cheering-on the mischievous George (Chris Sawalha) as he gets his audience to vote-in the gloopy ingredients for a medicine designed to shut-up his demanding Grandma, with Jack-in-the-Box results, whist his Mum and Dad (Ffion Glyn and Ben Goodridge) are busy on the farm.

The chickens, and especially Nick Taylor as the emu-like Giant Chicken, also take George’s medicine and the feathers fly as they first expand, then shrink.
The set is a feast for children’s eyes, bursting with colour and fun, with a loo in full view, and described as “scrumbobulous” by a veteran Minack fan on the opening night.

Both the set and puppets are the brilliant work of designer Christopher Barlow, with costumes by Dean Horner, special effects by QDivision, and music by Valeri Gory.

Watch out cranky grannies – what goes up must come down, and down – and down!