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The BFG | Theatre Porto

Children’s theatre is undoubtedly so important and vital for sparking a life-long love and appreciation for the arts, and Disley Theatrical Productions and director Phil Cross have truly brought the magic of theatre to life in their production of The BFG, which runs at Theatre Porto in Ellesmere Port until 24th February.


Roald Dahl is undoubtedly one of the best storytellers for children’s literature, with most of his books championing the kind-hearted and featuring an underlying warm sentiment, and the story of The BFG embodies this. The story of The BFG follows a young orphan called Sophie, who is captured by a big and (initially unbeknown to Sophie) friendly giant. Together, they embark on an adventure to stop the child-eating giants from eating all the children in England, and life lessons are learnt along the way to not always judge a book by its cover.

In this production, the story of The BFG is retold by a young girl, who receives a copy of the book for her birthday, and her family. Using a box of dressing up clothes and her big imagination, the story unfolds right in front of the audience's eyes. The element of storytelling here is lovely as it sparks the joy for children being immersed into their favourite stories, and demonstrates the endless possibilities of being creative and using your imagination to bring these stories to life.


One of the most impressive aspects of this production is the array of inventive ways in which the storytelling takes place. Lighting and shadow work are both used throughout and the cast must be commended for the way in which they worked incredibly well together so that it felt effortless. The props designed for this show are visually stunning, from the cupboard of lit-up dreams that The BFG delivers to children, to the use of torches and neon cables when creating and delivering dreams, every prop is meticulously considered to capture the audience's attention. Director Phil Cross has created a lovely incidental original score which is interwoven throughout the show to enhance the magic within the storytelling.

Eleanor Moulson is a joy to watch and plays Sophie with such a convincing childhood innocence. Moulson uses a puppet to portray the protagonist of the story and throughout she embodies this, so much so that you found yourself drawn to the puppet. Seb Farrell packs a lot of heart into his performance as the BFG. Although he is mighty in size, the BFG has a raw vulnerability which Farrell perfectly emotes. His comedic delivery of the nonsense lines that we know and love from the story are spot on and really capture The BFG's fun and silly nature.

The cast is completed by Dan Shenton, Amy Jones, Josh Wood, Hannah Simpson, Keane Harrison and Isobel Lewis all do such a lovely job with their multiple characters. A particular shoutout must be given for how incredibly well they played the greedy child-eating giants. Using only cardboard hands and faces to portray the giants, it was their mannerisms and facial expressions that brought the giants to life and their interactions with the children in the audience was really immersive and fun.

Whilst predominantly a children’s show, there are definitely elements of this production that will appeal to the more grown up audiences too – whether that may be the feature of some of the 80s greatest hits or just the sheer appreciation of the magic that unfolds on the stage.

The BFG is a GIGANTIC hit for children and adults alike, and this production is a masterclass in creating a magical and enticing production for children, which deserves to be seen by wider audiences. The BFG runs at Theatre Porto in Ellesmere Port until 24th February, for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review


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