Magazine article The Spectator

Let's Twist Again

Magazine article The Spectator

Let's Twist Again

Article excerpt

An elderly stranger on a Jamaican train bets a young US Navy cadet that his lighter won't light ten times in a row. If it does, the stranger's Cadillac is his. If not, he forfeits the little finger of his left hand. The cadet accepts. Wouldn't you?

Dr Landy offers a philosopher friend the chance of a lifetime: to live on as a brain, and one dangling eyeball, floating in a basin of nutritive solution. 'It would be a tremendous experience!' he says.

For all I know, he's right.

The Lyric Hammersmith's staging of five Roald Dahl stories (Twisted Tales, until 26 February) lures us into a world where everything makes perfect sense - even when it shouldn't. . . To remind us how far we are from home Polly Findlay's production has some moments of bizarre visual menace: Nick Fletcher (as Mr Palacios) wielding a meat cleaver in his upstretched hand, panting for the American boy's little finger;

the philosopher's sole remaining pupil, projected on to a screen, dilating in mute fury at his wife's taunts. …

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