On a sunny afternoon in the Pleasance courtyard it was great to be back here for the first time in two years with my children Ryan (10) and Christina (9).

This courtyard felt like the centre of the Fringe during the 1990s and the scaled down nature of this year’s event has allowed the festival capture some of that old magic.

In some ways, it had become too big, there was too much choice and the city became frenetic as a result.

John Kirk energised the room with his telling of the Roald Dahl classic in front of a backdrop of trees blowing in the wind. His enthusiasm for the spoken word was infectious when taking on the roles of Mr and Mrs Twit.

Soon children and adults of all ages were avoiding being covered in sticky-hug-tight glue (water) or acting out the roles of upside-down monkeys. There were some captivating moments such as when the Roly Poly Bird visits from Africa.

In a period of our lives when children have spent so much time on screens, to be sitting here in front of a man on stage telling us a story with limited props felt almost radical.

There was a freshness about the experience. Kirk made a point that the book was now over 40 years old, it’s one that has essentially been handed down to the next generation.

Run ended. 

John Kirk with Ryan and Christina