After channelling the spirit of Roald Dahl for his brilliant stage adaptation of Matilda, Dennis Kelly has done it again with his new show for kids. Our Teacher's a Troll, part of Paines Plough's Roundabout programme, has all of the wit, grotesque humour and naughtiness of Dahl's best, not to mention some resourceful kids and vile, useless adults.
But this isn't just a Dahl-esque story of children and monsters. Kelly and director George Perrin have injected the tale with a strong sense of the theatrical, using the in-the-round space to conjure something of the campfire story. As they narrate how a troll came to be a headmaster and share the efforts of troublesome twins Sean and Holly to put an end to his child-eating habits, the excellent cast of three constantly swap roles, playfully throwing the story like a ball between them.
As well as including just enough of the rude and gruesome to keep kids giggling and squirming in their seats, Kelly's play holds another delicious layer for the adults in the audience. Like all the best children's theatre, it works for kids both big and small. And like Matilda the Musical, it celebrates the cheeky, rebellious potential of children, who are joyously empowered to change the world around them. As Matilda would say, sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.
Ou Teacher's a Troll runs at Roundabout @ Summerhall until 23 August.