February 11, 2019
It may have been a while since you read Roald Dahl's "James and the Giant Peach," the 1961 children's book that has been banned for various reasons over the years – including inappropriate language, references to drugs, and the possibility that one character's lip-licking was too sexual.
Despite the bans, Dahl's book is a pretty revered staple in modern children's literature, prompting a movie adaptation and many, many stage performances. One such stage production, currently being prepared by a community theater in York County, may prove to be as subversive as Dahl's story – whether it means to be or not.
What is a stage production of "James and the Giant Peach" without a giant peach at the center of set design? So York's DreamWrights Center for Community Arts naturally includes a giant peach as the backdrop to its stage, though many online are seeing something more than a peach.
Vagina. They are seeing a vagina.
a community theater is doing James and the giant peach, and their set looks like..... well, not a peach... pic.twitter.com/iNEWaDT50g— TJ (@teejcreed) February 8, 2019
Kate Harmon, DreamWright's marketing coordinator, told the Huffington Post at the likeness was not intentional.
“I didn’t see that before, but now that’s all I can see when I look at it,” Harmon said.
“We had to design a peach big enough for the cast to stand inside it, outside it, on top of it — it’s not exactly an easy feat.”
Nonetheless, Twitter had a lot of snarky and/or sordid reactions to share.
After a great performance they’ll get a standing ovulation— Linda Susan (@Susan6366) February 10, 2019
They could do the "Vagina Monologues" next 😂— PaigePrice (@KeepCalmResist) February 10, 2019
After local previews it will be opening wide— ShockPop (@ShockPop1) February 10, 2019
James and the Giant Unexamined History of Peach Symbolism https://t.co/P1x1jSxAZr— Supersnazz Scott (@scottythered) February 10, 2019
“The walls were wet and sticky, and peach juice was dripping from the ceiling. James opened his mouth and caught some of it on his tongue. It tasted delicious.” - Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach https://t.co/Pl8zlQsHK2— Amanda Quraishi (@ImTheQ) February 11, 2019
don’t they ... eat the peach.,. in the play ...— hunter ✧ (@huntergrae) February 8, 2019
This was clearly made by a man I mean there isn’t even a clitoris— ames (@PocketAmes) February 10, 2019
They should get armie hammer as a consultant— Nick (@nicklucier) February 8, 2019
James becoming a man in this version— Jacson A Bevens 😗 (@JacsonBevens) February 10, 2019
Others also gave kudos to the set's appearance while urging people to support community theater. DreamWrights, for the record, seems OK with the unexpected attention.
This is why we all need to support community theatre!! It’s Jem like this that brings character to a community. Also... this must have taken a lot of work too. Go you community theatre!— RunningFast4Life (@RunFast2Life) February 10, 2019
We hear you like our set design. We'd like to offer you tickets to our show to check out the hard work of this James and the Giant Peach company! https://t.co/D5YOBP0DbG— DreamWrights (@dreamwrights) February 10, 2019