Roald Dahl’s The Witches

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Everybody loves a Roald Dahl classic, and who doesn’t remember the shivers we got with our first encounter of his tale of women and wigs and gloves and magic.

“Witches, with silly black hats and cloaks riding on broomsticks? No. They’re for fairy tales. I’m talking of real witches.”

The Malthouse’s production of The Witches re-imagines Roald Dahl’s twisted, slightly dark, yet endearing story of one boy against a coven of witches, into a family-friendly one-man performance.

Step forward Guy Edmonds, the man undertaking such a task and single-handedly conjuring the entire cast from gnarled old women to squeaky children and everything in between.

Edmonds takes centre stage, literally in this case as the plot unfolds on a traverse stage. So if it wasn’t difficult enough to slip seamlessly from character to character, he has nowhere to hide for the transformations.

Not that he needs it. His performance is so energetic there is, at times, a frantic air to it, which is by no means a negative. He transfixes the audience with his vigour and by the time their eyes catch up with him he has skilfully hopped into a different character.

It’s fast-paced, it’s funny, it’s slightly chilling and even a touch sad. It’s the classic we know and love, remodeled.

Edmonds creates a 50 minute show which can enthrall children and adults in equal measure. Running until July 5th, catch it if you can.

Roald Dahl’s The Witches
The Malthouse Theatre
113 Sturt Street, Southbank
For tickets go to www.malthousetheatre.com.au/thewitches

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