James and the Giant Peach (Wood)

by  David Wood, Roald Dahl

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4m, 2f

The story of Roald Dahl’s classic tale is faithfully told by James himself and the insect characters – Miss Spider, Old-Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybird, and Earthworm.

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James and the Giant Peach (Wood)

by  David Wood Roald Dahl

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 2f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Literature), Theatre for Young Audiences
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Children (Age 6 - 10)
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)

Additional Info

The story of Roald Dahl’s classic tale is faithfully told by James himself and the insect characters – Miss Spider, Old-Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybird, and Earthworm. The play begins at the end of the story, when James and his friends are living in the giant peach stone in Central Park, New York.

A tour guide brings a party of tourists (the audience) to see this major attraction, and James and his friends tell the story of how they came to live in New York. The insects play the other roles, like James’s cruel Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, and the epic journey across the Atlantic is acted out with live action, puppetry and storytelling in David Wood's masterful adaptation.

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Reviews

"Pure fun for the whole family. A remarkable theatrical feat!" - Northampton Chronicle

"Move heaven and earth to see this wonderful adaptation!" - Sunday Mercury

"A first class show. If I were a child I'd scream for a ticket." - Birmingham Post

“… a great introduction for first-timers to the work of the masterful Dahl … a theatrical treat for children and adults alike.“ - Belfast Newsletter

“The David Wood adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale is a must … the story’s transition heatre for youngsters and the young at heart.” - Northampton Herald and Post

“The content is timeless and, thanks to the adaptive genius of David Wood, is now enabling a new generation of children, of all ages, the chance to marvel at the brilliance of the master storyteller via the magic of the theatre.” - Encore Magazine

“… some wonderful sequences, including the giant peach squashing the nasty aunts, floating in the water and being attacked by sharks and pulled out of the water by thousands of seagulls … it was a delight to see James and his new friends end up in New York where they made their home… a fantastic show.” - The West Briton

“… an excellent adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic by David Wood … an excellent introduction to live theatre.” - The Stage

Videos

  • David Wood on Doing It Yourself
  • David Wood on Getting Started As a Playwright
  • David Wood on Challenges In His Plays
  • David Wood on Roald Dahl
  • Interview with David Wood
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Youth/Camp Programs

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance

Production

Details

  • Features / Contains: Fantasy Costumes

Casting

4m, 2f

JAMES - our young hero; from a downtrodden, lonely child, he develops into a brave "captain" of the insect band; he acts as narrator too.
OLD-GREEN-GRASSHOPPER - elderly, genial, courteous, avuncular, musical (he plays the violin); he helps narrate. Also plays TV REPORTER.
MISS SPIDER - occasionally sharp, even a little sinister, but ultimately kind; her marathon-thread spinning to save the peach is truly heroic. Also plays NEW YORK TOUR GUIDE, RHINOCEROS, FIRST OFFICER.
CENTIPEDE - a sparky, cocky, warm-hearted Jack-the-lad. Also plays MR. TROTTER, AUNT SPIKER, CAPTAIN OF THE QUEEN MARY.
LADYBIRD - posh though not prissy, pretty though not vain, volatile though level-headed. Also plays MRS. TROTTER, AUNT SPONGE, SECOND OFFICER.
EARTHWORM - not only blind, but a pessimist, a doom merchant whose standing in the group and whose self-esteeem improves, thanks to James. Also plays RHINOCEROS, OLD MAN.

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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting

Casting Notes

Plus children's chorus to play tourists, visitors, sharks, seagulls, fish, octopus, and New York citizens.

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Authors

David Wood

David Wood has been called "the national children’s dramatist" (London Times). His plays are performed worldwide, and include The Gingerbread Man, The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner, Save the Human, Aladdin, Hijack Over Hygenia, Jack the Lad, Larry the Lamb in Toytown, Old Mother Hubbard and The Ideal Gnome Expeditio ...

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Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl

James and the Giant Peach was a joint commission by the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and the Birmingham Stage Company, for the 2001-2 Christmas season. The Birmingham production opened at the Old Rep., and then toured the UK. The US premiere was presented by the San Diego Junior Theatre in 2003.

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