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Danny the Champion of the World: Plays for Children Paperback – 3 Sep 2009
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About the Author
Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and many more brilliant stories. He remains THE WORLD'S NUMBER ONE STORYTELLER.
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I'm a fan of David Wood's many adaptations of Dahl stories, but I do feel this is the weakest. He subdivides the play into a series of scene, each notionally to be performed as stand-alones. I can't see much mileage in this concept, and Wood half-admits it himself, inserting ever-lengthier introductory paragraphs for a Narrator to read before scenes, so the audience might have a vague idea what's going on. Part of Wood's genius is his inventive suggestions for staging Dahl's more fantastical imaginings. Since there is less of that to solve here, he is reduced to simply putting into dialogue what is prose in the published novel. He does it well, but it's a little heavy-handed, and I feel - unusually for his work - that the distinctive voice of Dahl is lost in translation.
It's not a bad stab at the job, but I would point undecided theatre aficionados in the direction of David Wood's excellent other adaptations before trying this rather less successful one out.