THEATRE / The Witches - Duke of York's, London WC2
Friday 11 December 1992
There are plenty of tricky moments to compensate, however - mostly to do with rodents. During the course of the action, several people, including the hero, are transformed into mice before your eyes - tiny mice which do things like scurry, talk, eat and pour poison into soup. Playboard Puppets handle this infestation admirably, bemusing adults and children alike with the illusion by which actors vanish into small furry animals. And in a nice touch, we spend a couple of scenes at mouse level, making for a Borrowers-style angle on proceedings and a fine bit of slapstick as the mice approach a skirting-board as if it were Everest.
Dahl won children's hearts with his relish for the revolting, and The Witches is no exception. The night I was there, as a specimen witch demonstrated the tell-tale signs (gloves in all weather, no toes, blue spit and wigs) and whipped off her wig to reveal a wrinkly bald pate, one child cried out, with evident glee, 'That's disgusting]'
The production is slow in places and misses a few tricks (the liberation of a frog enslaved by the Grand High Witch is woefully underplayed), but this is still a good story, well told, with a pleasingly thought-provoking ending, rather than a happy one.
Details in theatre guide, below
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Eurovision 2015: Finnish punk band with learning disabilities applies to raise awareness
Drake matches The Beatles' record with 14 singles in top 100 chart at the same time
Aidan Turner interview: 'being a sex symbol is a little awkward'
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'