Kategoriarkiv: Dahl, Roald

Matilda the Musical

Når vi var i London i februar virket det som en opplagt ting å gjøre å ta med eldstemann på musikal. Jeg ga henne valget mellom Lion King (hun har selvsagt sett filmen) og Matilda (vi hadde nettopp lest boka). Ikke overraskende valgte hun Matilda, og jeg gikk til innkjøp av billetter.

Jeg vet ikke helt hva jeg hadde ventet meg. Med utgangspunkt i en bok jeg elsker og med sanger av Tim Minchin burde jeg jo egentlig være overbevist på forhånd, men jeg må innrømme at jeg ikke helt klarte å se for meg hvordan det skulle funke på scenen. Dennis Kelley er kreditert med «book», så jeg går ut fra at det er han som er ansvarlig for frihetene Matilda the Musical har tatt seg med Roald Dahls historie. Og all ære til ham for det, for det funker. Minchins tekster er selvsagt, hadde jeg nær sagt, geniale og en bok som i utgangspunktet består av mer prat enn handling er blitt til en overbevisende og forrykende musikal.

Det er vanskelig å velge når jeg skal prøve å si noe om HVA som var bra. Sceneelementene og kulissene var flotte, som skapt for å appelere til oss bibliofile og ble utnyttet forbilledlig i koreografien. Skuespillerprestasjonene var det ingenting å utsette på. Miss Trunchbull spilles av Alex Gaumond, et grep som føyer seg pent inn i Britisk pantomimetradisjon der «the dame» alltid spilles av en mann, men det føles slett ikke pantomimeaktig her (og sjuåringen skjønte ikke at det var en mann, heller, og ble svært overrasket når det ble nevnt etterpå). Han gjorde en fantastisk jobb. Både han og Matildas foreldre (James Clyde og Kay Murphy) ble forresten buet (og, må det understrekes, applaudert) når de kom ut for å ta i mot appluasen. Det har jeg aldri opplevd før, men det føltes helt rett (og jeg går ut fra at de tar det som et kompliment, det betyr jo at de har overbevist i rollene).

I tillegg til meg og sjuåringen var mamma med, og hun har ikke engang lest boka, men også hun var begeistret for forestillingen, så det er altså ikke nødvendig å være svoren Matilda-fan heller. I det hele tatt: Musikalen anbefales på det varmeste.

Time flies

Since early May I’ve read a lot of books and been dumb as an oyster about most of them. To give myself a chance to catch up I will therefore throw them all in this catch-up post and start afresh with the current read once I’ve finished that.

Having felt for a long time that I really ought to read some of the Moomin books, I read Pappan och havet, which is perhaps one of the darkest and least «children’s literature» of Tove Jansson’s great series. I then read three books in the Dot-series by Inge Møller that I picked up in a jumble sale – hardly great literature and not even the best of their genre, but not an unpleasant way to spend an afternoon.

I then got through Follestad and Ffforde, before embarking on P. D. James’ latest, The Lighthouse, which, fortunately, was every bit as good as one could have hoped. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was next, a fascinating book, though overhyped, and also not at all what I expected (though I don’t know what I expected, to be honest, I just had no idea what the book was about owing to the fact that all I’ve ever done before is look at the front of the cover).

Next I picked Roald Dahl’s My Uncle Oswald off the shelf – I’d bought it a while back mainly because, well, it’s a Dahl and it also happened to be a first edition in good shape. This was quite entertaining, though I suspect the subject matter would enrage some people, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with the conclusion.

I bought The Wicked Winter by Kate Sedley at my doctor’s office (there’s a Lions’ Club book sale shelf there) and was entertained. It was pretty good as these things go – the main character, who is also the narrator, is sympathetic and the mystery had a nice twist at the end which I certainly didn’t foresee. However, not a likely candidate for a reread, it’s too… well, I suppose «simple» will have to do for a descriptive word – It’s too simple for that. Well enough written, though. So I stuck a bookcrossing label in it and left it in Britain somewhere. I hope somebody else will pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did.

I borrowed Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor from my father, who’s a fan, and enjoyed it to a certain extent, but it was not the sort of book I really wanted to read just now – I’ve been on the search for strong main characters and a make-you-turn-the-page-quickly central plot, and whatever Lake Wobegon‘s merits, those are not among them. So I turned to another rearead instead, The Fourth Estate by Jeffrey Archer. Not the best choice, unfortunately, as neither of the two arch rivals really manage to engange my sympathy in sufficient degree to make me care much about «who wins». Still, Archer is always good entertainment.

Next was Hver sin verden by Marianne Fredriksson, which was almost good. Fredriksson ruined the book for me by making basic mistakes regarding Scandinavian/nordic history (assuming an Icelander with the surname Anarson must be a decedant of earlier Anarsons was the most glaring one) and by formatting the text very strangely. Instead of sticking to the standard paragraph indicator (indented first line) there was also a blank line between paragraph-lengths blocks of text. Mostly this was just a waste of paper and though it seemed unecessary, it could be taken to indicate a «break» in the narrative – replacing the line «Some time later» for example. However, it sometimes happened in the middle of dialogues or otherwise coherent episodes, and felt just as wrong as putting a full stop in the middle of a sentence. I came very close to throwing the book across the room a couple of times, but managed to restrain myself.

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator was also picked out of a box because the husband hadn’t read it. Well, now he has. And I’ve reread it. It’s pretty much as enjoyable now as it was way back when. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a strange book, but I think Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is just that little bit stranger.

Going Solo

I ended up rereading Going Solo because I had found it in a box (along with Waltzing through Flaws) and had given it to the husband with a «here you go, you need to read this» and he’d brought it to Vienna and was reading something else when I needed something to read and had put my own book (which I still haven’t finished) in the wrong bag. Uhm. Nice sentence, that.

Anyway. I’ve read Boy once, and as far as I can remember I found that pretty tedious. Going Solo, however, is charming and, amongst other things, leaves you wondering how on earth Hitler managed to get beaten by the allies, though I suppose someone in charge must have learned from their mistakes at some point after Dahl was invalided home. Or perhaps the allies were just more stubborn and won on the basis of sheer luck, which seems to be mainly what kept Dahl alive.