No one enjoys a trip to the dentist – but this performance at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre will leave you smiling.
David Walliams’ books are much loved by today’s children, and bringing this fun, but rather dark story to life on stage is a real treat from The Birmingham Stage Company – the same folk who brought us Walliams’ Billionaire Boy last year at Aylesbury.
When the new dentist – Miss Root – arrives in town, Alfie (beautifully played by Sam Varley) puts a previous bad experience to the dentist aside and bravely goes to his appointment – but it’s worse than he feared! And when the tooth fairy starts taking teeth from under pillows and leaving gory presents in their place he knows he must investigate.
Alfie teams up with classmate (she’s a friend who’s a girl, not a girlfriend, as the pair are keen to point out) Gabz (Georgia Grant-Anderson) to find out what’s going on. But will the grown-ups believe them?
The show combines slapstick comedy and dark themes wonderfully – and the young audience seemed immersed in the tale – helped by some fabulous scenery and, as will be familiar to anyone who has seen the company’s previous shows, a couple of big props that delight (I won’t spoil the surprise!).
They laughed at the slapstick comedy, jumped at the ‘boo’ moments and joined in with some of the repetitive dialogue that had everyone giggling.
Of course no David Walliams tale is complete without an appearance from the newsagent Raj (played with great comic effect by Zain Abrahams). And the relationships between the characters add an extra depth – Gabz and Alfie have a great love-hate relationship, while Alife and his dad (James Mitchell) have the sweetest bond, with Alfie caring for his poorly dad, who encourages him to ‘always believe’ and turns out to be a real hero, despite his debilitating illness.
Like panto, although this is a kids’ show, there’s enough to entertain the adults too – a fun theatre trip for the whole family.
Naomi MacKay watched Demon Dentist at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre – running until Saturday 28 January.
Tickets are available at: www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury
Photo by Mark Douet