12 December 2014 to 3 January 2015
Reviewed by Debbie Tasker
Yesterday, I and my younger companions age 9 and 4 were mega excited to be invited along to James and the Giant Peach showing at the Waterside Arts Theatre in Sale (runs until 3 January). I have never visited the venue before but it was easy to find. Situated next to Sale Town Hall where there is a multi-storey car park a minutes walk away. The Metro Station a short walk and plenty of buses it is in an ideal place even if you don’t drive.
The building itself is relatively small. There is a cafe/bar next to the desk but it does not sell any food except crisps and confectionery, a bit of a shame really as I am sure they would do good business on show days.
This Roald Dahl classic is adapted by David Wood and is ideal I would say for ages 4 – 10. Having said that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole show myself as did it seem the rest of the adult audience.
James Trotter is orphaned when a rhinoceros eats his mum and dad. He is sent to live with his nasty Auntie Sponge and Auntie Spiker who are mean to him and make his life a misery. He works all day and never gets to play with other children. After being given a bag of magic by a stranger James is sure his life will get better, but he drops it and the magic spills around an old tree in the corner of the garden. A peach begins to grow and grow and grow until it is enormous. So off we go on an enchanting adventure with James and of course the peach.
The small cast tackle the roles of both humans and insects with great enthusiasm. The costume changes are quick and I would think went unnoticed by the younger audience members. The set is quite basic but effective. There are a few special effects which are very good but again as you would expect not big budget stuff. The centre piece is the giant stone made home by James and his creature friends. Underwater scenes were excellent as was the peach at different sizes throughout. The music fits with the story and all the cast can sing. Grasshopper even plays the violin on a few occasions.
Audience interaction was well received and welcomed by all ages (including me!) I found myself blowing as hard as I could as the peach rolled by our seats to help it get to its destination.
James and the Giant Peach would make a wonderful alternative for a Christmas show family treat, we loved it.
An enchanting production.
Tickets cost from £10 to £16
James and the Giant Peach is at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale until 3 January 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0161 912 5616.
Waterside Arts Centre, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, M33 7ZF | 0161 912 561