Review of Wyrd Sisters by Stephen Davenport

Reviewer: Stephen Davenport
First published in: Australian Stage Online
Date of review: 20 June 2011
Left – Pamela Munt, Kahlia Tutty and Therese Hornby. Cover – Hugh O’Connor and Paul Messenger. Photos – Michael ErreyWyrd Sisters

is a play of great empathy, idiosyncrasy and rib-tickling fun. What makes it exhilarating is the way Terry Pratchett’s imaginings boldly defy convention by holding a mirror up to life. That’s why everything is approximately the wrong way around.The fun begins even before the show commences. In the foyer, just in front of the stocks, Cut-Me-Own-Throat-Dibbler is giving away free programmes with every gold coin donation. He’s hamming it up with promises of rat-on-a-stick (cocktail sausages) during the interval. The full-house is enthusiastic.

Once the theatre doors open, and the crowd pass the three witches holding the stage, expectations soar and Unseen Theatre Company typically delivers.

As per usual, director Pamela Munt and her fine ensemble provide ample entertainment value, with cleverly drawn characters, using minimalist sets.

“On nights such as this, witches are abroad. Well, not actually abroad. They don’t like the food and you can’t trust the water and the shamans always hog the deckchairs.”

Infamous witches, Granny Weatherwax (Munt) and Nanny Ogg (Therese Hornsby) are training New Age Wiccan Magrat Garlick (Lucy Haas-Hennessy) when they see the future. The future is looking back at them and Granny doesn’t like its expression at all. King Verence of Lancre (Paul Messenger) is dead at the hands of his cousin Duke Felmet (James Loader), and destiny has placed a baby and a crown in the hands of the trio of witches. Extremely worrying developments of a magical tendency are afoot. Can Granny stop meddling? Can the baby boy (Tomjohn) grow up in hiding with a troupe of thespians to eventually reclaim and save the kingdom? When Felmet invites a band of mummers to perform for him all will be revealed. To the theatre owner the pay and not the play is the thing. Sounds very Shakespearean? That’s no accident because there is more than a few tilts at the Scottish Play and all are funny indeed.

The entire cast is clearly having a ball on the stage and delivering the cutting lines of this script – an adaptation by Stephen Briggs and reworked by Pamela Munt. These high-jinks render themselves to the appreciative audience. Yet the ensemble is smart about a lot of things, including the vital importance of at times underplaying their parts. This ensures Wyrd Sisters is seriously funny.

See it because it’s uproariously entertaining and hilarious.

Unseen Theatre Company presents
Wyrd Sisters
original adaptation by Stephen Briggs | reworked for Unseen Theatre Company by Pamela Munt

Directed by Pamela Munt and David Dyte

Venue: Bakehouse Theatre | 255 Angas Street Adelaide
Dates: 10 – 25 June, 2011
Times: Wed – Sat @ 8pm
Tickets: Adults $18; Conc $15
Bookings: (no booking fee) or 82270505 ($2 per ticket booking fee applies)