Printable CopyWYRD SISTERS
Unseen Theatre Company
Bakehouse Theatre
Until 27 Nov 2021

Review by Holden Ward

Fans of Sir Terry Pratchett or his popular Discworld series will love this production from Unseen Theatre Company, who last performed “Wyrd Sisters” in 2011, this time marking the company’s 21st birthday.

Even those not familiar with the work of Sir Terry Pratchett or the Discworld series can enjoy this production of “Wyrd Sisters” as a fun frolic within the pantomime/fantasy genre. Whilst the plot is somewhat scrambled, there is something here for all ages: witches, ghosts, a stunning blue demon, soldiers, robbers, a royal couple and their foolish jester – all laced together with satirical takes on Shakespeare, playful gags and deeper references to real-world issues.

For a preview performance, there were hardly any glitches, testament to the hard work put in by the cast and crew, and perhaps the past familiarity with the material. The intimate Bakehouse Theatre stage was used to its full capacity, often having to accommodate many actors at once. However, rarely did the stage seem crowded, due in large part to Stephen Dean’s clever use of lighting and a minimalist approach to furnishings.

The large ensemble of experienced and first-time actors were extremely well cast, and evidently had fun with their parts, with the comical lines shared across many characters. Notably, three actors return to play the same parts from the 2011 production: Paul Messenger as the deceased King Verence and director Hugh O’Connor as Death meet early in Act One in a hilarious purgatorial exchange. Pamela Munt (Producer and Artistic Director) also returns to competently lead the three Wyrd Sister witches on stage as Granny Weatherwax.

There was a sweet onstage playfulness between two of Unseen’s veterans, Alycia Rabig (as Magrat Garlick) and Danny Sag (as The Fool). Philip Lineton opened the show and delivered strong performances throughout.

After a long hiatus, Tony Cockington treads the boards again, hamming it up as Duke Felmet, pitted wonderfully against his stern counterpart, Duchess Felmet, played convincingly by Aimee Ford.

Prokofiev’s “Dance of the Knights” music was appropriately used to maintain the audience’s anticipation throughout the various set changes. Elyssiah Green’s costumes were exquisite, adding to the colour and fun of this production.

“Wyrd Sisters” does not take itself too seriously, and this would be the recommended approach to viewing this entertaining production. Many of the remaining shows have already sold out, so get in quick, and Happy Birthday to Unseen Theatre!