Roll up, roll up into the wacky world of Roald Dahl's The Twits as brilliant theatremakers shake & stir theatre co bring this beloved cheeky children's classic to life on stage. A glorious ensemble cast of five deliver a delightful and hilarious performance for all ages.
Upon entry to the Playhouse Theatre, a wacky circus top and festoon lighting sets the scene against some 90s/2000s pop for the parents. A trio of circus narrators (Will Carseldine, Billy Fogarty and Reagan Mannix) employ gorgeous vocal and physical work (think Cut Snake) to narrate and enter the world of the grotesque title characters.
Josh McIntosh's set and property design captures the essence of the Twits' filthy and chaotic lives, complete with an outdoor dunny. The clever use of a circus curtain and stage revolve add for some exaggerated comedy as delicious for the audience as Mr. Twit’s finds his beard snacks.
The chemistry – or more fittingly, lack thereof, – between Mr. and Mrs. Twit is palpable, as Kieran McGrath and Judy Hainsworth expertly embody the couple's repulsive and devious nature. Enhanced by McIntosh’s eccentric costuming and a plodding musical motif (Sound designer: Guy Webster), their grotesque antics are all the more entertaining. The Narrators shine as well, effortlessly transitioning between multiple roles with spitfire dialogue.
Nelle Lee’s delightful adaptation is imbued with sharp wit and humour, ensuring many adult chuckles. It’s also succinct and accessible for the little theatregoers (a tidy 55 minutes long).
Imaginative design, quirky comedic performances and smart direction (Ross Balbuziente) provide a disgustingly delightful show for theatregoers of all ages. Whether you're a fan of the novel or simply looking for a laugh, shake & stir theatre co. delivers a theatrical gem that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
shake & stir theatre co’s production of Roald Dahl’s The Twits is produced by Arts Centre Melbourne, shake & stir theatre co and QPAC. Now showing at the Playhouse Theatre Melbourne as part of a national tour. Tickets here.
Image credit: David Fell