Review: George’s Marvellous Medicine, The Spring, Havant

Carousel by South Downe Musical Society. Nick Williams and Becky North.

REVIEW: Carousel at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

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George’s Marvellous Medicine isn’t among the best-known of Roald Dahl’s wonderful stories, but (to this writer at least) it’s right up there with the very best.

In this production Humdrum capture the anarchy, the dark humour and the warmth at the core of Dahl’s work.

As our eponymous guide, George Summers is by turns the narrator and straight man of the piece. His interplay with his mum and dad (Kerri Jeffery and Alex Howat) gives the show its warmth.

The humour comes largely from Grandma. Peter Colley, resplendent in caked-on make-up, scowling and chewing on every line, is clearly loving every second on stage. Grandma hates everything and everyone, bemoaning all that her family do to help… at least until George whips her up some new medicine!

With marauding farmyard animals (keep an eye on the shifty pig and the chicken who doesn’t understand personal space), madcap antics and a frenetic pace, this is a treat for audience members of any age.