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
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners