Watch out for the falling peach! James and the Giant Peach rolls into Young People’s Theatre (YPT) from November 24th to January 4th. This performance was inspired by Roald Dahl’s original story. This version has a few plot twists. This performance is focused on building family values, such as kindness, caring, empathy and respect. This play was brought to stage by Allen MacInnis because all of this year’s plays are about fairness.
Plot of the Play
The play is about a boy named James who lost his parents. James is forced to live with his horrible aunts, Aunt Spiker and Sponge. One day, James meets a mysterious man that helps him to make crystals that will brighten his life up. James drops the crystals near a peach tree. Marvelous and peculiar things start happening.
- James, the main character. James is shy and always has ideas. James is energetic and active.
- Aunt Spiker, James’s horrible aunt. Aunt Spiker is tall and skinny with a tall hairdo.
- Aunt Sponge, James’s other horrible aunt. Aunt Sponge is fat and lazy.
-The Mysterious old man, whom James meets in his garden, gives James a Bag of magical crocodile tongues that will give him a happy life. The mysterious old man only appears once in the story.
- The Ladybug, one of the creatures James found in the magical peach. The ladybug is very lady-like and has nine spots on her back. The ladybug is nice to James all the time.
- The Spider, one of the creatures in the peach. The spider is energetic and nice to James.
- The Grasshopper, one of the creatures in the peach. The grasshopper loves music and is very gentle with James.
- The Centipede, one of the creatures in the peach. The centipede doesn’t like James at first but realizes James could be his friend.
- The Earthworm, one of the creatures in the peach. The earthworm is very “cute” and doesn’t really talk to James at first but finds his way to being in James’ family.
What would a play be without costumes!? The costumes used in this play looked splendid! As a journalist, I got to interview Milena Radeva, who makes props for YPT. Milena enjoys using different materials and exploring what different materials can be used for. Milena thinks helping out with the costumes can be stressful at times because she only has a short amount of time to make the costumes.
The lighting made this play look amazing! The most important part of lighting in this play was the shadows. I interviewed the lighting designer, Jason Hand. Jason goes to rehearsals and decides the lighting. Jason loves to play make-believe with shadows. The most interesting shadow in the play to me was the scene of James’ mother and father’s accident. Their shadows looked realistic and clear.
The director of James and the Giant Peach is Sue Miner. Sue thinks being the director of the play is fun but stressful at the same time. “It’s stressful because a lot of decisions are up to me,” said Sue. I think Sue did a wonderful job directing the play.
The main character of this play was James of course who is acted by Alessendro Costatini. “I’ve been acting for ten years so far,” said Alessendro. He really liked being on stage when he was little. Alessendro became inspired to act with a love of stage. Alessendro is trying to convey courage through his performance in this show as that is what he believes this play is about.
Dale Miller, who acted the centipede, told me, “The most difficult part for me is memorizing lines.” Dale was inspired to act by his love of stage and singing. Dale thinks this play is about family.
The earthworm, in my opinion, is the cutest character in the whole play! “I did my first musical when I was 15,” said Jacob. Having a love for music inspired Jacob to act. Like Dale for Centipede, Jacob thinks that memorizing lines is the most difficult part. Jacob thinks this play is about discovering where you belong.
I was pretty surprised to see Jenny, the actress I interviewed before who played the title character in the Annie musical at YPT last year. “I love to hear James singing,” said Jenny. Jenny thinks the play was all about being part of a family.
As the play ended, I felt sad because it was time to leave. I thought the show was amazing and fun. I hope to visit YPT again!!!!