Sir Terry Pratchett was a prolific author of seventy books which included the series Discworld of which Wyrd Sisters is a part. It has a simple plot of murder of a king, the infant son being saved then returned to the throne. The journey to achieve this can only be described as quirky with comedy, quotes from the Bard, humour, fantasy, time travel, the king becoming a ghost and of course the witches plus many more twists and turns. All this is adapted into a play by Stephen Briggs and brought to life with this production directed by Hugh O’Connor and David Dyte for the Unseen Theatre Company.
The large cast of fifteen would seem too large for the Bakehouse Theatre but as there were never more than five or six on stage at any one time the space was extremely well used.
Philip Lineton as Chamberlain commenced the proceedings with what seemed a little nervousness, his second role as Hwel however was very convincing with his authoritarian voice and actions.
The three witches were played by Pamela Munt as Granny Weatherwax, Natalie Haigh as Nanny Ogg and Alycia Rabig as Magrat Garlick although she is not sure how she became a witch. They complemented each other and convinced the audience witches really are nice people. Some words were lost however with a soft voice particularly from Granny Weatherwax.
Tony Cockington as Duke Leonal Felmet with his bleeding hands and subservience to the Duchess was perfect for this role. The Duchess Felmet played by Aimee Ford was a standout with her scheming and conniving being the real thing. Her stage presence is outstanding.
Danny Sag as The Fool seemed to enjoy this role particularly with the scenes when trying to woo Magrat Garlick and finally winning her affection.
Chris Irving as Soldier, Tomjon and Demon was extraordinary particularly when summoned forward by the witches as the demon with no facial features.
There were many notable performances not the least of which was Paul Messenger as King Verence (deceased) he was a convincing ghost stuck between two worlds. The two Directors managed to squeeze themselves into the cast with Hugh O’Connor playing two parts Death and Guard whilst David Dyte managed three parts Soldier, Robber and Wimsloe.
The minimal sets of black curtains and blackouts were accentuated by the use of large props such as the stocks and jail plus cauldron, rock and other pieces. All were manoeuvred in the dark by a very competent backstage crew.
The lighting and sound team led by Stephen Dean was outstanding with spots on cue and music that added to the tension at the right times.
A major feature were the magnificent costumes by Elyssiah Green. The time and effort put into these costumes is incalculable with fine detail that matches any previous stage performance.
Opening night was sold out and no doubt the other three performances will be well attended. Get in quickly or you will miss all the great lines such as an elephant cocking his leg to let the sun through.