Image Credit: Dylan Evans

Once again shake & stir theatre co put the ‘cool’ in their latest Roald Dahl production ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ at the Sydney Opera House. Having been to a past performance of ‘Roald Dahls’ Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts’, I knew we would be in for a treat knowing the quality of their productions.

Word must have gotten around that shake & stir theatre co’s productions are top notch as the theatre was full at the performance we had tickets for. School holidays and a superb theatre venue perched right on the harbour will always draw the crowds but with a quality production offering families an hour of classic theatre entertainment, it makes for the best recipe appealing to families these summer holidays.

The classic Roald Dahl Tale of George’s Marvellous Medicine has been brought to life in a theatre adaptation by shake & stir theatre co.  Following on from its successful season in Brisbane in 2016, George’s Marvellous Medicine is now bringing laughs to Sydney families at the iconic Sydney Opera House.

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If you’re not familiar with this terrible tale, 8 year old George Kranky lives with his parents, Mr & Mrs Kranky and his grandmother who he can’t stand due to her bossing him, nagging him and ordering him around behind his parents back. One day it all gets too much for him after she bullies him with comments about stop growing up and scares him by saying that she likes to eat insects and believes that she is a witch.

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Every day at 11am, George is in charge of giving is grandmother her special medicine. To teach her a lesson, George concocts a different medicine with everything but the kitchen sink it it. He goes from room to room, using household items and adding them to Grandma’s medicine. Shampoo from the bathroom, floor polish from the laundry room, horseradish sauce and gin from the kitchen, animal medicines, engine oil and anti-freeze from the garage and brown shoe polish to mimic the colour of the original medicine.

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After giving Grandma the new and improved “special medicine”, Grandma blows up like a balloon bursting through the roof of the house. But it doesn’t stop there. He also tests it on one of his father’s chickens growing a phenomenal size to the delight of his father who thinks world hunger could be stopped if they could replicate this medicine and sell it to other farmers. After not being able to get the recipe right with a few mishaps along the way and losing Grandma in the process, George reflects on recent events giving him a sense of pride and an insight into the larger cosmos.

This delightful and comical story has been adapted for theatre by shake & stir theatre co without losing any of the original storyline. The production team have built the set superbly using timber partitions creating the illusion of different rooms, making it easy for the cast to change around throughout the show. The cast are just as wonderful with each actor giving their own personality to each character including Leon Cain as Grandma. Director Ross Balbuziente clearly knows how to engage an audience of all ages.

This group of performers work like a well oiled machine with many appearing in together in other productions. The cast deliver their lines with perfection, ensuring that all puns, innuendo and witty line delivery is showcased to the audience of all ages.

This is one production that will have the tick of approval from die hard Roald Dahl fans as well as families who just love a witty, entertaining performance!

George’s Marvellous Medicine will run from the 17th-25th January at the Sydney Opera House!