By David Wood.
Adapted from the book by Roald Dahl.
First performed at Wimbledon Theatre in 1991, followed by a tour and a West End season for Christmas at the Aldwych Theatre. Since then there have been two major UK tours and two West End seasons at the Albery Theatre and Playhouse Theatre. The play has also become popular in the United States, with productions by Chicago Children’s Theatre, Dallas Children’s Theater and, in a slightly revised version, Seattle Children’s Theatre.
Roald Dahl’s classic book about the 24-feet-high Big Friendly Giant and a little orphan called Sophie brings to the stage some of Dahl’s most memorable characters.
The BFG and Sophie team up to save the children of England from the child-eating giants, Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater, Bonecruncher, Meatdripper, Childchewer, and Gizzardgulper.
They are assisted by the Queen of England and the Heads of the Army and Airforce with their helicopters. Locations include the BFG’s cave in Giant Country, Dream Country and Buckingham Palace.
The play uses a framing device: Sophie is celebrating her birthday with her friends, and they act out Sophie’s favourite story – THE BFG.
For Seattle Children’s Theatre, this framing device was removed and the story told “for real”. Both versions are available.
The play offers opportunities for puppetry, and imaginatively solves the problems of scale. Dahl’s humour, delightful use of nonsense language, and unique combination of fairytale and contemporary storytelling are faithfully adapted to the stage.
The original production used a cast of eight, plus two acting stage managers, with several actors playing several parts each.
A larger cast is possible.
“A combination of top playwright David Wood and top children’s writer Roald Dahl can’t fail” Western Daily Press
“Any child not delighted by THE BFG must have a head filled with squashed flies and deserves to be fed for a year on disgustatious snozzcumbers.”
“Like most David Wood shows, this will thrill the kids without boring the adults. I’d be bogswinkled if I didn’t admit it is quite scrumdiddlyumptious.”
Bristol Evening Post
“THE BFG presents an awesome challenge which the children’s dramatist meets with his customary panache… The chiddlers in the audience seemed genuinely
enthralled – and it certainly makes a change
from the telebunkum box”.
The play is published by Samuel French Ltd., a Concord Theatricals Company. Optional music by Peter Pontzen is available from Samuel French Ltd., a Concord Theatricals Company. First Class Professional and Foreign Rights : Casarotto Ramsay Ltd. UK Repertory Rights : Casarotto Ramsay Ltd UK Amateur Rights : Samuel French Ltd., a Concord Theatricals Company. The play is included in David Wood : Plays Two (Methuen) US Stock and Amateur Rights : Samuel French Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company.
The release of the 2016 film of THE BFG means that no performances of my stage adaptation are allowed until 2023.