2016 Wyrd Sisters Reviews

Daily Echo - Curtain Call

Monday 18 April 2016

By Ham Quentin

REVIEW: Wyrd Sisters, The Worthy Players, Jubilee Hall, Kings Worthy

Shirley Lovell - this production's Granny Weatherwax and main Director - as well as acknowledging Assistant Directors Alison and David Woolford, explains that this play was chosen to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, as this group knows its limits and feels that learning Shakespeare is well beyond them. And yet tackling one of Stephen Briggs' adaptations of a Terry Pratchett novel seems much more challenging!

While every scene of the Bard's plays advances an exciting story, every line and character gives each actor something to relish, the 23 scenes of this piece, a mickey taking version of 'Macbeth' transferred to Discworld with extra 'Shakespearean' elements thrown in, depends on what's vaguely familiar, plus the odd joke about subjects such as insurance.

On the positive side, the costumes are sumptuous, the effects good and the cast performs faithfully - not least Lovell, with Gina Bird and Kirsty Turner as the other witches, Douglas Mackie as a capering Fool, Sam Muir, 'unshaven' in a trouser role, Tim Elwood and Barbara Kearns as the Macbeth like Lancres.


The Worthys Parish Magazine

By Eleanor Hamblin

'Wyrd Sisters' with The Worthy Players

For The Worthy Players the question was how to mark to 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in an appropriate way. With their limited resources, to choose one of the Bard's plays was out of the question, but the solution was found in their recent excellent production of Stephen Briggs adaptation of Terry Pratchett's novel, 'Wyrd Sisters'. Directed by Shirley Lovell assisted by David and Alison Woolford, this proved to be a fitting tribute to both Shakespeare and to the late Terry Pratchett.

The play involved a large cast which meant much doubling up of parts and many swift changes of costume and scene. Thus there were peasants, guards, soldiers, robbers and strolling players as well as the main characters in this highly entertaining parody of Shakespeare's 'Scottish Play'.

Just imagine the scene - three witches gathered on a lonely heath. A king cruelly murdered, his throne usurped by his ambitious cousin. A child heir and the crown of the kingdom, both missing... all the ingredients needed for a good story.

The play opened with the three witches gathered around their cauldron and the familiar words, 'When shall we three meet again?' at which they consulted their diaries much to the amusement of the audience. Shirley Lovell excelled as their leader Granny Weatherwax who thought she knew all the answers. Well supporting her in their differing ways were Gina Bird as Nanny Ogg, her friend and matriarch of a large family, and Kirsty Turner as Magrat Garlick, the junior witch, still learning and anxious to practice a few spells.

Verence, the deposed king was played with style by Nick Kearns (also doubling as an actor-manager Vitoller). Convincing performances were given by Tim Ellwood and Barbara Kearns as the scheming Duke and Duchess of Lancre and Sam Muir as Tomjon, the deposed king's son and heir, while Douglas Mackie revelled in his role of the Fool, leaping and capering around the stage.

Other multiple roles were played by Janine Blackmore, Peter Wooldridge, Martin Pettigrew, Peter McLoughlin, Mike Heseldin, Julie Pettigrew, Miriam Edmond and David Clement who was making his stage debut.

The simple set, designed by Shirley Lovell and David Woolford, meant that scene changing was kept to a minimum and as always all the Worthy Players were involved in its construction and the provision of props. Costume and wardrobe were in the capable hands of Shirley Lovell and Alison Woolford and Richard Aldous provided the lighting and sound.

The Worthy Players are to be congratulated on their first production of the year which was greatly appreciated by the audiences in the Jubilee Hall.


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