City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Revolting Rhymes Review

By Justine Blundell - Posted on 23 August 2011

Fringe 2011: Revolting Rhymes
Show details
Howes You Doing
Running time: 
Roald Dahl Museum (Producer)
Clem Silverman & Matthew Stubbings

Revolting Rhymes is a rip-roaring, mad-cap hour of hilarity, silliness and mayhem that kids from about 5 years up can’t seem to get enough of.

In the book, published in 1982, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes re-jigs 6 classic fairytales, giving each a humorous twist and alternative ending. This production sees Matt and Clem, two storytellers from The Roald Dahl Museum, retell 3 of these stories in their own high-octane style.

They jumped in and ran around the audience, between seats, up and down the aisles, high-fiving all the wee ones. That adults were to be the butt of many jokes was established right at the start when neither of them actually high-fived a grown-up, instead thumbing their noses, pulling faces or shouting, ‘Ha! Who are you waving at?’. This served the dual purpose of winding the wee ones right up to full volume and preparing us bigger ones to be further humiliated. I jest somewhat – it was all done in good humour and we were probably laughing at least as hard as they were.

They began with Cinderella, making the most of the humour to be derived from two lads playing girly parts. By the time they got to the bit where an ugly sister flushes Cinderella’s slipper down the loo, the kids could barely contain themselves. In fact, having whipped the crowd up into a frenzy, the challenge was actually how to control them. The little lad next to me was so excited he was shouting out and trying to get into the performance space at every opportunity while his mum tugged him back by his t-shirt and Matt, with his head in his hands, loudly bemoaned that his career had been reduced to being heckled at a kids’ show!

Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs saw children taking on one or two of the roles and in general audience participation increased as the show progressed. We were required to pull our best piggy faces, create tumultuous storm noises – and all under the threat that any adult caught not joining in would be brought out to the front and made to perform in front of the whole audience on their own.

With the Tale of the Mad Monk thrown in for good measure (and the shocking entrance of a third, slightly bizarre storyteller) this hour of madness passed very quickly. I left feeling that a bit of silliness every now and then does you the world of good.

Show times: Til 29 Aug, 12:30

Ticket prices: £8 (£6)