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Twisted Tales (Liverpool)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Jeremy Dyson’s return to Liverpool with an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s adult stories has plenty of appeal.

Dyson and the Lyric Hammersmith last visited the city with Ghost Stories and broke all box office records previously set at the Playhouse, albeit with a little help from Andy Nyman as co-writer and co-director.

Nyman is not involved on this occasion and Polly Findlay takes up directing duties, while Dyson is tasked with presenting Dahl’s ability of creating human weirdness and unusualness onto the stage.

Twisted Tales delivers five of Dahl’s stories in one hour and twenty minutes, all knitted together by clever use of revolving sets, multiple performances from a cast of six, and further insight into the minds of two masters of the macabre.

Stories unfold ranging from a bed and breakfast landlady out to catch her guests unawares, a woman who meets her match in the form of her two-timed husband, an evil betting man prepared to trick for his own grotesque self-gratification and a lady who can only love her husband after death.

The tales run alongside those being told by a gentleman simply known as the Stranger (Trevor White), who captivates a terrified group of commuters on a train.

Set in the 1950s, the plot shifts from train cabin to each of the separate tales until the final story, based at a boarding school, brings the play together with a somewhat unexpectedness.

Selina Griffiths, as the wicked and creepy Landlady, and Alexandra Maher, as the Ticket Officer and The Pawnbroker, amongst other roles, stand out amongst the cast.

-Michael Hunt


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