Monday, 24 November 2008

Danny the Champion of the World - the reviews are in!

Well the reviews are in for Danny and they are looking good! This is the first Christmas show that Mark has directed in a while and he seems to have loved it. His love of it has come across as we are getting some really nice reviews. You can read The Bolton News review above (click to enlarge).

Here's what is being said:

The acting is good, too. Des O'Malley has a bright presence as Danny, and the bond of affection between him and his father (Stephen Chapman) is genuinely affecting. Morgan George makes a delightfully dastardly Mr Hazell, and Martin Miller is great value as a cheerful Bobby prepared to turn a blind eye. THE GUARDIAN. Read more....

'There's a torch-lit chase reminiscent of ET, a breath-taking car-ride with thrills and spills and some audience participation....An enjoyable alternative to panto which will appeal to all ages.' MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Read more...

'So, say "Bah! Humbug!" to the credit crunch doom-mongers! This is a golden-hued family treat; fairly priced, and the perfect Christmas show for young and old to enjoy. Go on - treat yourselves, as no-one does Dahl better than the Octagon!' WHAT'S ON STAGE Read more...

'A clever script, lots of knockabout humour....combine to make this great entertainment for the whole family. ' THE STAGE Read more...

'Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. It was charming, inventive, with just the right amount of audience participation! Please pass on my appreciation and congratulations to everyone involved. Hope its a runaway success, as it deserves to be.' AUDIENCE MEMBER

'An enjoyable alternative to panto which will appeal to all ages.'

'It says a great deal about the quality of this production that, in spite of the wordiness of the script, it is still able to hold its relatively young audience spell-bound for over two hours.' THEATRE WORLD INTERNET MAGAZINE. Read more...

Here's the one from CLITHEROE ADVERTISER. Sorry I can't find a link so have transcribed it here.

'David Wood’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World gives the Bolton Octagon another excellent Christmas show. Director Mark Babych and his creative team of designer Helen Goddard, lighting designer Tom Dexter Scott, sound designer Andy Smith and composer Howard Gray have combined to produce some clever and witty effects.

A small cast of seven actors play a wide variety of parts and demonstrate impressive puppet skills. How else are you going to be able to put a host of chickens and countless pheasants on stage? Des O’Malley is a touching Danny, worrying about his father Stephen Chapman and trying to prevent eviction by the wicked Mr Hazell, Morgan George. Thomas Aldersley, Elianne Byrne, Helen Kay and Martin Miller play, policeman, taxi driver, head-teacher, doctor, gamekeepers and more as well as controlling all those fowl and creating the sound effects of cars, a baby, a bull frog and all kinds of odd things.

I was unable to attend the press evening so that gave me the chance to go to a morning performance with the auditorium packed with primary school children and I think I enjoyed it all the more. The children chuckled and giggled in all the right places and participated with noisy enthusiasm when required. Their enjoyment was infectious and really cheered me. This production is well worth seeing, with much to please four-year-old children and upwards, including two young at heart pensioners.'
You may have seen recently that we have put a call out for young reviewers in The Bolton News. As this show is aimed at young people, we thought it made sense for those same young people to review it.

If you are aged between 5 and 13 and think you can write a review of the show we would love to talk to you. To become one of our young reviewers you need to write to us and explain why you'd like to review Danny the Champion of the World for the Octagon Theatre.

Send your letters to Parvati Gorsia, Communications Department, The Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South, Bolton, BL1 1SB or email

Three successful applicants will be selected and will receive two tickets to see the production of Danny the Champion of the World and their reviews will be featured in The Bolton News and on this very blog.


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