Dirty Beasts


First ion

Dirty Beasts is a 1983 collection of Roald Dahl poems about unsuspecting animals. Intended to be a follow-up to Revolting Rhymes, the original Jonathan Cape ion was illustrated by Rosemary Faucet. In 1984, a revised ion was published with illustrations by Quentin Blake. An audiobook recording was released in the 1980s read by Prunella Scales and Timothy West. Later in 1998 Puffin Audiobooks published a recording featuring Pam Ferris and Geoffrey Palmer, and in 2002 Harper Audio released a recording of Alan Cumming reading both Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts.

An OVA was also released by Abbey Home Entertainment in the 1990s as part of their Tempo Video range, featuring all 9 tales told alternately by Prunella Scales [first version]/Dawn French [Revoiced version for 1996] ("The Pig", "The Scorpion", "The Porcupine", "The Cow" and "The Tummy Beast") and Timothy West [first version]/Martin Clunes [Revoiced version for 1996] ("The Lion", "The Anteater", "The Crocodile" and "The Toad and the Snail").

The book contains nine poems, telling of the unusual exploits of unsuspecting real animals (save for the Tummy Beast, who is made up). They are as follows:

In the OVA, the "Crocodile" was moved so that it would be told before the "Tummy Beast", which also was moved to be told before the "Toad and the Snail".

Historical Context of Roald Dahl's poems

In all of Roald Dahl's poems he makes adults mean and horrid because of his history. He had a lot of mean teachers and adults throughout his childhood.

Musical Settings

Dirty Beasts is Martin Butler’s musical setting of “The Pig”, “The Tummy Beast”, and “The Crocodile” for narrator accompanied by wind quintet and piano.

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