Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

Young witches cast pleasing spell

Unbewitched:  Mrs Vitoller, (Sophie Dix); Sergeant (Roisin Keating); Verance  (Anna Garrett); Tomjon  (James Kay); Duchess  (Hannah Scothern); Fool  (James Boyce); Duke  (Dan Beaton); Hwel (Rachael Pickard); Vitoller  (Aron Bourke). 

Wyrd Sisters

Hall Green Little Theatre Youth Theatre


IT was not until I had travelled 15 miles home and looked at the programme that I realised that Roy Palmer's studio production has 23 scenes, starting with The Blasted Heath and finishing with The Blasted Heath Again.

You could have fooled me. Its first night flowed almost seamlessly, with its young company coming reliably to its  responsibilities – though beset by the familiar failing of youth productions, of often speaking far too quickly, delivering the lines as if the speakers were anxious to be rid of them before they forgot them.

Not that there appeared to be in any danger that this would happen, and three members of the cast, in particular, do not fall into this trap. Indeed, Aaron Bourke (Vitoller) combines very good diction with a remarkable bouncing walk. James Kay (Tomjon) similarly comes through loud and clear; and Hannah Scothern (Lady Felmet) supplements her own speaking excellence with the ability to say controversy correctly, which is a vanishing art these days.

Every witch way: Nanny (Kiara Mackay), Granny (Laura Coxson) and  Magret, (Iona Taylor)

At the heart of the action, of course, are the three witches whom author Terry Pratchett has created. Laura Coxson (the authoritative Granny Weatherwax), is firmly in command of Magrat Garlick (Iona Taylor) and Nanny Ogg (Kiara Mackay), both of whom are apt to permit themselves mischievous smiles from time to time. They make a pleasing trio, from whom emerges one of my favourite lines: “You can't beat a good imprecation. I ain't done one in years.”

Another, since you ask, is “I set fire to a few cottages. Everyone does that. And it's good for the building industry.” And a third is, “Just when things are going well, there's always bloody Destiny.”

From time to time, the company is given the opportunity to have a mild swear and it seizes it without noticeable excitement

James Boyce gives us a Fool with serious intent and shares with Rachael Pickard (Hwel) a particularly pleasing encounter. Anna Garrett comes ghostly earnest as the late King of Lancre and Fran Johnston is a pleasing little Demon.

The production is well supported by sound and lighting and never threatens to fall short of atmosphere.  To 08-10-11

John Slim 

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