Wonderman, Gagglebabble, Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre

December 11, 2016 by

Looking for an evening out that isn’t, well, nauseatingly Christmasy? Wonderman, a Gagglebabble creation in collaboration with National Theatre Wales, is enjoying a festive run at the Weston Studio in Wales Millennium Centre.

The only festive flourish is that the musical numbers that entertained us when the show played the Tramshed in September are preceded by the audience being welcomed by the troupe wearing Santa hats and singing Christmas ditties.

However, once we have bought our drinks and taken our tables and the show gets underway we return to the 1940s cabaret-style setting with boogie woogie, period clothes and props, as the twisted Roald Dahl stories begin, all within an umbrella tale of the writer’s wartime experiences.

The conceit is an actor, Adam Redmore, being in a hospital bed after his plane being shot down and sustaining brain damage. That hospital bed, doctor, nurse and matron, morph into characters, situations and scenarios from some of Dahl’s dark tales.

The three zany characters and three great musicians, who occasionally join the antics, inhabits the nifty sets designed by Hayley Grindle.

Rather than spoil the fun by either telling you which of the stories are adapted in this splendid entertainment, conceived by Daf James, Hannah McPake and Lucy Rivers and directed by Amy Leach, suffice to say there are plenty of sticky endings and macabre imaginings.

Lucy Rivers, Hannah McPake and Charlie Folorunsho perform a myriad of tales for these tales within an overall tale which are all swept along on a tide of musical panache from James Clark, Pete Komor and Mark O’Connor.

The show is even better the second time around and while you know what is going to happen in the twisted adult tales the fun and fiendish frivolity is fabulous.

Until December 24


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