BBC Radio 4, 24-28 December 2012
With Charles Dance as the storyteller delivering Dahl's prose in sonorous
tones, A Little Twist of Dahl provided an ideal dose of bitter-sweet humour for Christmas week.
The stories are all notable for their surprise endings; beginning somewhat mundanely,
they move towards an expected conclusion, and then Dahl has great pleasure in subverting such expectations. The experience
is very much reminiscent of Tales of the Unexpected, the 1980s ITV series which (at least in its earliest episodes),
managed to hold the attention in similar fashion.
David Blount's productions were also distinguished by the quality of their casts:
in the opening tale ("Taste"), Jonathan Hyde had great fun as a wine-taster growing too big for his boots; "The Way Up
to Heaven" had Kerry Shale and Lorelei King as an unhappily married couple; "The Hitchhiker" cast Kenneth Cranham as
a crook with delusions of grandeur; "Edward the Conqueror" had Celia Imrie and Geoffrey Whitehead as a married couple
debating the possibility that their cat was a reincarnation of Franz Liszt; while Jamie Glover did another one of
his vocal turns in "Neck."
These tales can either be listened to individually, or in a block of five, as (re-)broadcast
on Radio 4 Extra. Highly recommended.