The latest theatrical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic story George’s Marvellous Medicine has hit the stage at Curve theatre, Leicester, to rapturous responses from audience members and critics alike. Ahead of its UK tour, Chandni Mistry, who plays the role of the Chicken, talks about the production.

“I’m so excited to be part of this show! Our production of George’s Marvellous Medicine shows how imagination is the most amazing thing, not just for kids but for adults too. All George wants to do over his school holiday is read a book but the adults keep getting in the way. To get around that, he finds the most ridiculously inventive ways to have fun again.

“When I first got the part I really didn’t know what to expect. Obviously I play a giant Chicken but exactly how we’d make that happen on stage was a mystery to me! Our Director, Julia Thomas, has a brilliant eye for creativity and invention that keeps everything a surprise and a little unexpected. I’m certainly not your typical Chicken!

“I’m originally from Leicester so it’s brilliant to have started our tour here at Curve. I’ve actually just moved back to the city because over the last five years, regional theatres have changed the landscape so much that you don’t need to live in London as an actor anymore. Leicester has really transformed since I’ve been away and become this vibrant, buzzing city that everyone who lives here can be so proud of.

“One thing I’ve got to say about this show is how amazing the cast and creative team are. Everyone is giving their all behind the scenes and up on stage, I think that really shows too – you can’t get up in front of audiences as a Chicken or a grumpy Joan Collins-esque Grandma and be even a little bit shy. It’s all or nothing!

“This is a kids’ show but it really is fun for the entire family. Julia Thomas and our Designer Morgan Large have packed the production full of references to modern life that keep it current and fun for all ages. Tasha Taylor-Johnson, our Composer, has also infused the show with this incredibly funky, hip hop soundtrack that you can’t help but want to move to. It’s a brilliant vibe.

“We do have a strong ‘don’t try this at home’ message in the show but we’re also really inspiring creativity and entrepreneurship in our audiences. A lot of our props are made from recycled objects and we actually spent hours when rehearsals first began just letting our imaginations run wild and making the props that you see on stage, from pigs to milkshake machines. It was great for us to get in that creative zone and the things we made from the most random objects absolutely work in George’s world.

“This is the first time I’ve ever performed in an adaptation of one of Roald Dahl’s stories but I’ve always loved him as a writer. I remember reading his stories when I was younger and finding them so funny, there’s a lot of nostalgia for me in this production. That’s the great things about Dahl – kids are still reading his stories and are coming to the theatre with their parents who also read the books when they were children. They have this universal appeal that brings everyone together which is fantastic to make come to life on stage.

“I think my favourite thing about this production (and there are lots to choose from!) is the reaction we get from audiences each performance. Hearing the crowd laugh and enjoy the show is just the best feeling you can have.”

George’s Marvellous Medicine is at Curve from the 9th to the 20th January.

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Chris is a Sparrow.

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