For Chichester Observer – posted online
Wyrd Sisters directed by Mandy Carr
Midhurst Players choice of Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sister’s for its Winter Production was inspired. The book had been adapted by Stephen Briggs and it combined vivid “over the top” characters, plenty of opportunity for comedy and humour and many witty references to Shakespearean characters and themes.
The twenty-three short scenes could have presented a nightmare to the stage management however Nicci Pennicott’s brilliant set of a large picture book where the pages were deftly turned to “set each scene” worked perfectly. Each “page” was also quite beautifully painted. The minimal furniture was very cleverly designed and visually powerful and very effective.
The lighting designed and operated by Steve Diver was stunningly evocative creating both atmosphere and many powerful visual images. A truly delightful touch was the sequence of glorious Discworld images (one every 6.5 seconds) projected on to the curtain, to reflect the passing of fifteen years during the interval.
The costumes captured the style and spirit of the play and added much to the visual effectiveness of the production, Odette Marshall, who was in charge of wardrobe, is to be congratulated.
The audience obviously delighted in the humour and zest of the production and the actors relished being able to embrace these outrageous, “larger than life” characters. The three witches played by Sarah-Jane Steed, Tim Ashworth and Ali Locke were well contrasted visually and vocally and James Justesen created a very pleasing Fool with a real appreciation of the physical and emotional possibilities of the character.
The tradition of pantomime will last forever but this production of the Wyrd Sisters offered a joyful alternative as a Christmas treat this year.