REVIEW: The Witches at Nuffield Theatre, Southampton

Sarah Ingram, left, and Sioned Saunders in The Witches
Sarah Ingram, left, and Sioned Saunders in The Witches
Picture: Shutterstock

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This stage adaptation starts the way you expect a classic story Roald Dahl might – with a kindly Norwegian grandma spinning her young relative a scary story with a few wicked twists.

Real life witches, she says, don’t come bearing pointy black hats and cauldrons, but instead have spotted scalps that itch under wigs, gloves to hide their lack of fingernails and a detestation all children, who smell like dog droppings.

The Witches at Nuffield Theatre, Southampton

The Witches at Nuffield Theatre, Southampton

Soon Boy, played by Fox Jackson-Keen, has his own encounter with a congress of twisted sisters at the English seaside, where they’re turning youngsters into mice and frogs.

Cast members also transform throughout the play – into troubadours, picking up trumpets, violins and fiddles for flurries of musical accompaniment.

The Witches is colourful and raucous, designed for children but enough fun that adults can happily go along for the ride.

Among the many wonderful performances, nods must go to Sarah Ingram as the terribly Teutonic ‘Grand High Witch of all the World’, and Karen Mann as the gentle granny.

The Witches is colourful and raucous, designed for children but enough fun that adults can happily go along for the ride

The finale message Boy learns will leave your heart glowing: ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, as long as somebody loves you.’

Until Saturday.