A ‘Witchy’ Sound track wafted around the venue as the audience entered – Cliff Richard’s ‘Devil Woman’, Frank Sinatra’s ‘Witchcraft’ , ‘I’ve put a spell on you, Hall and Oates ‘Abracadabra’ gives us a nice intro into the theme of this piece of one woman theatre (with a twist), the twist being that it’s two hander!
Two witchy old crones come on stage – one with twiggy hands the other then reveals enormous twiggy hands – they tell us of the foreboding tales they will tell with great comic timing – one crones teeth fall out and can’t be picked up which set us on our way for an hour of deeply funny material
The set is a giant story book and first off we meet Hansel & Gretel who wow us with a fabulous dance sequence to kick things off
Gretel then meets a rather hideous Goblin puppet complete with his tackle hanging out who gives her a riddle to unpick to find which path she should chose. After much hilarity with a bean, we discover she is on a path of fear….
We then enter Roy’s castle and meet two supposed witches in sumptuous outfits – one regaling the audiences with sonnets the other with dirty limericks followed by singing and some musical saw action. I was a little unclear about who these characters were and what they represented.
The Red Riding Hood scene was excellent with a misogynistic big bad wolf appearing with his tackle hanging out too – struts around the stage, puffing his chest and flirting with the women in the audience. Little miss riding hood, a sex robot, then appears in overtly sexual clothes and in this very funny if disturbing scene she then flirts with the men in the audience and skirts water from her nipples. The art or non artfulness of flattery and sexual peacocking is explored as is misogyny in general.
They are trick sequences involving glasses of liquid and nudity which they pull off brilliantly. Her fellow accused witch appears on stage in outrage – “no one wants to see your hanging gardens of Babylon – vagina’s aren’t funny”.
It’s a full on romp of fast paced costumes changes – the costumes are an absolute highlight of the piece. Some nice bits of puppetry and comedy props all make this a great show
The piece explores the power of women and who controls them and witches in general killed for their ‘powers’. The Finale brings us the witches oven used to slowly burn someone alive and from here we have the big finale dance routine as they both magically appear like Incan brightly coloured goddesses and show us all how to embrace our inner witch. I laughed so much the first time I saw the show that I came back to see it the following morning at the Hat as part of the baby laughs season. The theme of this show is not as tied down as ‘Enter the Dragon’ however it’s idiotically beautifully performed. I expected lots of laughs, and that’s what we got! There’s soliloquy (albeit smutty poetry), magic tricks, puppetry, dancing singing, musical saw playing and utterly fabulous costumes. The piece explores how in the past and present women’s witchiness is something that has been feared but in fact needs to be embraced. Indeed, Women hold the power over their minds, bodies and reproductive organs.
Written and performed by Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards
Directed by Cal McCrystal
Set and costume design by Holly Murray
Puppets by Annie Brooks
photos by Paul Winter.