James and The Giant Peach

Date 9th March 2017
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue The Lytton Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Dave Slade


Author: Vicki Avery

’James and the Giant Peach' is a much loved and popular story by Roald Dahl. Once again, The Lytton Youth Theatre chose to perform this great play suitable for a family audience.

Neave Keeney as James did a grand job portraying a young boy. Her ability to enter into a child's world was very convincing and she passed her enthusiasm on to the rest of the cast. James ends up in the care of his two cruel aunts after his parents are killed by a rhinoceros! Aunt Sponge (Jenna Marvell) and Aunt Spiker (Ruby Carroll) were very amusing with their constant bickering and their colouring, shape and size worked well.

James acquires some new friends when he accidently spills a magic potion onto a peach tree in the garden. This results in a giant peach big enough to live in and some giant sized insects that befriend him. We had a wise Grasshopper (Kizzie Hopkinson) who gave us an exceptionally creative performance.  A centipede with attitude (Hayden Chambers). A very thoughtful spider (Sophie White), a very miserable EarthWorm (Maya Kantas), a lovely Ladybird (Liberty Arnold), a cheeky glow-worm (Sammy-Kate Taylor) and an engaging silkworm (Katy Clark).

These six individuals were well cast and their characters gave us lots of laughs throughout the performance. They were helped along their way by an enthusiastic supporting cast and well done to you all.

The use of a narrator, helped to set the story but unfortunately delivery was rather fast and we did not always pick up everything that was said.

As a general comment, a number of the cast needed to slow down and think about ends of words. You have heard the script many times but for the majority of your audience, it was the first time and we needed to enjoy what was being said.

Set design and costumes had been kept simple and along with clever props (I loved the sharks) it worked well.

The costumes were excellent especially for the insects and the make-up added to the overall pleasing effect.

There were some good lighting and sound effects to add to the atmosphere.

The opening of Act 2 was great fun and I know the actors loved performing it.

There were a wide variety of ages on stage, which was a pleasure to see. Some of the seasoned actors obviously helped the younger ones along and would be someone to look up and aspire to in the future.

This was an enjoyable performance and I would like to thank the society for their kind invitation and look forward to seeing what they choose for their next production.

Congratulations to you all