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Dahl's the Witches provides a heady brew

DAHL’S books have always appealed to old and young alike - whether they’re on stage, screen or in their original form - and The Witches performed by The Young Theatre is no different.

DAHL’S books have always appealed to old and young alike - whether they’re on stage, screen or in their original form - and The Witches performed by The Young Theatre is no different.

The group were in for a tough sell, as I’m a big fan of the film directed by Nicolas Roeg, featuring Angelica Huston as the Grand High Witch.

The film made popular the tale of bald witches, smelly children and being brave. But having seen its winning production of James and the Giant Peach I was expecting great things.

It did not disappoint with bundles of laughter, silly slapstick, cute puppets and an unashamedly heart warming ending.

The Witches follows a young boy who goes to visit his grandmother after his parents are killed in a car crash.

The pair plan a trip to the English seaside blissfully unaware their holiday coincides with a witches conference at the very same hotel.

But the boy and his friend Bruno stumble across the witches and are transformed into mice. It’s then a race against time to save the children of the world and beat the hags.

Ewan McPhillips shone as Bruno, a child who has an unnatural appetite scoffing donuts, chocolate, cakes and bread rolls.

Group director Tom McGrath also makes an appearance as the crazy French chef leaving the children in the audience screaming with laughter as he chased the mouse around his kitchen.

Anne Reiph also did well in the role as grandmama, managing to convince everyone in the theatre she was speaking to her grandson when faced with puppet mice, and toys on wheels. Quite a feat when actors can spend years mastering the art.

The rest of the cast were also great, with the Witches themselves cackling with great gusto. The Great Witches accent was spot on, and had the audience clapping and cowering after her speeches in equal measure.

The Witches is a great piece of theatre, and a must see for any child in the Easter holidays. It does what the Young Theatre does best, introduce young people to theatre gently while keeping the parents entertained too.

The Witches is on at the Curzon Centre, in Maxwell Road, Beaconsfield until Saturday, April 6.

Times: April 5 at 1pm and 4pm and April 6 at 11am, 3pm and 7pm. Tickets £11 adults, £7 concession.
For tickets visit www.youngtheatre.org.uk

 
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