And there could be no better time to stage the production as the story reaches a milestone in 2012, the 30th anniversary of its publication. It was inspired by Dahl’s granddaughter Sophie who went on to become a world famous model and celebrity cook.
To add to the nostalgia, the production is directed by Joe Sumsion who saw his first ever play at The Dukes during Christmas 1973 – a production of Beauty and the Beast in which Dame Harriet Walter appeared.
Joe said: “Directing The Dukes Christmas show is an incredible honour and this one will be a great challenge, especially as we play with scale and perspective. Roald Dahl is a brilliant writer and for me, this is one of his best stories. It’s a much loved tale and we’ll tackle it with a light touch and lots of energy.”
The cast includes Robert Pickavance as the Giant. This regular vistitor to the Northwest theatre scene is currently appearing at York Theatre Royal as the headmaster in Forty Years On. He has performed in many Dukes productions, most recently Dracula in 2003.
The Dukes is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary and Christmases past have seen it stage a variety of shows from Toad of Toad Hall and Aladdin to The Railway Children and Jungle Book. The most recent Roald Dahl adaptation to be performed at The Dukes was The Twits in 2007.
One of Roald Dahl’s most popular characters – The BFG – will be taking to the stage from 25 November 2011 to 7 January 2012.