Giants are supposed to be scary becaue they love to eat children, but not so in Roald Dahl’s The BFG, aka The Big Friendly Giant. Imagination Stage’s production of The BFG brings Dahl’s magical words and world to life through innovative mix of puppetry and humans.
I first discovered my love for Roald Dahl after reading Matilda. I didn’t pick up Charlie and the Chocolate Factory until much later, as it felt too obvious of a choice with its fame and movie. After Matilda I couldn’t Dahl’s entire library fast enough. The short, mostly unknown The BFG also became one of my Roald Dahl faves. I introduced Sophia to Matilda, the story of a genius girl with special powers, earlier this year. I think she’s reread it several times. I encouraged Sophia to read The BFG before we attended the press night performance and she fell in love with Sophie and the BFG. I’m sure it helped that she and the main character had similar names.
The BFG takes orphan Sophie back to the land of giants after she sees him blowing dreams into children’s windows. Giants do not want to be spotted because humans will cause a fuss and put giants in zoos. Sophie learns that BFG is the only friendly giant–all the other ones love to eat humans. Some giants prefer Swedes because they taste sweet (get it?), but the Greeks taste greasy.
Sophie and the BFG go on an adventure together to collect dreams, but soon they discover that the other giants want to head to London and eat all the children! Sophie hatches a plan that involves the Queen of England (played by the hilarious Susan Lynskey), some bumbling military generals and helicopters.
In most products of The BFG, humans play the giants while a puppet is used for Sophie. However, thanks to the innovated puppets designed by co-director Eric J. Van Wyk, we are given the pleasure of seeing the talented Megan Graves play Sophie. Our entire family loved seeing the puppets in action. While the design of the puppets enabled us to see the actors moving the puppets, I stopped noticing them 10 minutes into the show. They became part of the magic that was The BFG.
I was not expecting the show to be so funny. Oh, but I laughed–we laughed–so hard. In fact, we’ve incorporated some BFG-ism into our family vocabulary. Whizzpopping is definitely not allowed at the dinner table! The BFG captivated our entire family from beginning to end!
Imagination Stage is also running a photo contest in conjunction with The BFG. While you’re at the theatre, take of a photo of your in the special royal chair showing off their royal pose for a chance to win a 5-pack subscription for two for the 2014-15 season. Then share the photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag Imagination Stage. (Full details available in theatre lobby.) Jaxson and Sophia did give a regal pose but this one makes me laugh.
The BFG is running all summer (through August 10, 2014) at Imagination Stage so you have no excuse not to see the show! Tickets start at $10 and you can purchase them online or by calling the box office at 301-280-1660. There’s also ASL and sensory-friendly performances.