Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales at the Lyric Hammersmith

Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales

Roald Dahl wrote a hell of a lot of stories in his 74 years. Although far better known as an author for children, he produced almost 20 short story collections for adults. The 1979 collection Tales of the Unexpected is considered to be one of his strongest, and now writer Jeremy Dyson has adapted five of those 16 tales for a production at the Lyric Hammersmith.

Dyson has a strong pedigree for pitch-black humour, having served as screenwriter on the BBC TV and radio series The League of Gentlemen. He also co-created the box office smash Ghost Stories, one of the Lyric’s biggest hits of last year, and one which is still doing brisk business after a transfer to the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End.

The stories adapted for Twisted Tales look to be an attempt to recreate the dark magic of Ghost Stories, and indeed they are some of the author’s most macabre. Dahl aficionados, or those who have seen the ITV television adaptations of his work in the 70s and 80s, might recall titles like The Landlady or William and Mary (my apologies to those people now humming the ridiculously catchy TV theme tune to themselves).

Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales is directed by Polly Findlay and runs at the Lyric Hammersmith until the 26th of February. It will then head up to the Northern Stage in Newcastle from the 16th – 26th of March, and from there to Liverpool’s Everyman and Playhouse from the 30th of March – 23rd of April.

Euan Monaghan

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