DEMON DENTIST – LIVE ON STAGE! Review by Sia Pathak, JAGS

Is it possible to adapt David Walliams’ award winning book, ‘Demon Dentist’ into a play, which we love just as much? It seems director Neal Foster and the Birmingham Theatre Company have done just that.

In this hilarious yet spine-chilling performance, we follow the story of Alfie (Sam Varley) and Gabz (Georgia Grant-Anderson), two ordinary school children, as they investigate the mysterious and spooky happenings in their town, with all paths leading back to one suspect: the new dentist.

“My favourite part was the singing and dancing” one audience member commented, regarding the delightful and entertaining musical numbers, certainly keeping the audience amused and engaged. The set was also magnificently crafted, we were transported between locations creatively and seamlessly, making the play enrapturing. However, the highlight of the experience was certainly the acting itself. The performers were extremely talented, consistently giving an energetic performance, which was very well received by everyone in the theatre.  Each actor embodied their character perfectly, truly capturing the essence of David Walliams’ iconic narrative. “Miss Root (Emily Harrigan) was the best! She was so funny but also quite scary sometimes” one young girl told me. “Raj (Zain Abrahams) was my favourite”, said another, “he was very funny, like in the books!” The huge cheers and applause when the actors took their bows, from everyone, young and old, truly illustrated how unforgettable the performance was. The running time of just over 2 hours went by a flash!

The New Wimbledon Theatre is a truly magnificent building, and the play had an impressive turnout. Each member of the audience felt fully immersed in the story, thanks to the superb lighting and sound effects, drawing us into the performance, heightening both our fear, and our laughter. The shocking special effects (such as the moving eyeball, breaking windows, and many more) were also extremely well executed.

Though, of course it is a difficult feat to cram all of David Walliams’ lengthy book into a play, this production has pulled it off and no one was left disappointed. Families, friends, scout groups and school groups – everyone left with a huge smile on their face. Overall, an incredible play and one I’d thoroughly recommend.



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