The Dentist will See you now! What do you do when you learn they are other worldly?
Having amassed millions of sales and fans alike its probably a fair to assume that most of tonight's audience will have already read the story of 'The Demon Dentist' - so lets recline the chair and see what it's all about!
Walliams is certainly a prolific writer and The Demon Dentist is one of his best-known books and a well-read one in many households, he has an incredible knack for creating wonderful contemporary children’s stories which bridge the gap between the young and the old, creating fantastical characters, both loveable and grotesque whilst also touching on unfortunate or neglected children in the same vein as the Roald Dahl stories. The Demon Dentist is a modern mix-up of The Witches and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The show follows a boy called Alfie (Sam Varley) who has had a hard life for a 12-year-old, but that doesn’t stop him from being a decent lad even though he has to juggle the tricky life of a 12-year-old caring for his disabled dad (James Mitchell) since the death of his mum. A previous traumatic dental experience has left Alife convinced that he never needs to go back and so he hides the piles of reminder letters being sent to his house from his sick dad. Unfortunately for Alfie, his social worker Winnie (Misha Malcolm) finds them and insists that he must go.
There is a new local dentist in town called Miss Root (Emily Harrigan) so perhaps a visit to the dentist might not be so bad now, but then some strange things start happening at the same time as Miss Root's arrival. Children are finding all sorts of gorey things under their pillows instead of money from the tooth fairy, could this be linked to Miss Roots' arrival? Alfie and his friend Gabz (Georgia Grant-Anderson) decide to take on the new dentist and try to uncover her less-than-ethical activities when it comes to the loose teeth of the town.
All in all this show is fast-paced and remarkably silly with lots of toilet humour, upbeat songs, panto-style chases and comically exaggerated characters that families will love. There are tender and emotional moments between Alfie and his dad and lots of mileage is got out of Alfie and his “not my girlfriend” relationship with Gabz. Sam Varley is fantastic and Emily Harrigan is perfectly terrifying as Miss Roots and really commands the stage in the role. The staging is very cleverly done and helps narrate the story well to capture the family audience and bring them along for the journey. A definite family must-see show though I would say for 8years old + as there were a few tears of fright from some younger members of the audience.
Demon Dentist runs at the Belfast Grand Opera House until Saturday 29th July, tickets can be purchased online at goh.co.uk