Wyrd times at the Loft as Pratchett’s magic takes to the stage - The Leamington Observer

Wyrd times at the Loft as Pratchett’s magic takes to the stage

Wyrd Sisters, Loft Theatre, Leamington

A WORLD of witchcraft, magic, literary sideswipes and ribald humour crashes onto the stage in this no-holds-barred excursion to the world of Terry Pratchett and his bestselling novels.

Pratchett’s popularity would be hard to match. Both he and his writing command a hugely loyal fanbase and if the queues formed for the author’s visit to the town a couple of decades ago, are anything to go by, this joyous homage should sell well and please many.

From the rapidly evolving array of short scenes to the self-referencing staging and the playbox costumes we really are only a Take That song and beanstalk away from pantomime.




Too many unnecessary scene changes and blackouts threaten to mire Lorna Middleton’s production but the cast work wonders to keep the pace up and the fun flowing.

Chris Johns’ scenic design is as pared-down as it gets. Only the occasional bench, stool and chest make it onto the Loft’s expansive stage. But the whole production owes its looks, and much of its charm, to a splendid full-width projection which gives us, by turns, forests, castles, towns and dungeons. When viewed with the painted floor and the ever-changing lighting design the overall effect is busy and colourful.


As you’d expect from the pen of the man who invented whole worlds for amusement, this is no small-cast outing. Even with the generous employment of doubling up parts there are still 17 souls on the stage at peak.

There are some creditable performances from a cast throwing themselves fully into the spirit of the piece while never losing sight of the fact that this is far from high art.

The witches themselves shine throughout with a gritty Yorkshire realism and a true relish of the wordplay and surprisingly subtle gags on offer. Keelin Roe as the youngest of the three and Oliver Brindley as her love interest and the court’s fool, both carry things along nicely.

Elsewhere there are fine performances making the most of occasionally thin material. Marc Roberts as the actor manager and Peter Daly-Dickson as the guilt-ridden king both catch the eye.

Pratchett fans will love it and potential converts are given every opportunity to buy into the sheer fantasy of this daft but affecting reality. It’s buoyant, meaningless fun and, if taken as such, cannot but be enjoyed.

Wyrd Sisters runs until Saturday April 8. Full details and booking at lofttheatrecompany.com .

 

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