I love going to the theatre, and last night was my first visit to the Bear Pit Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. What a charming, friendly ‘little theatre’ that was created 10 years ago to support the local arts groups. I felt there was a lovely community feel amongst the crew of pulling together, and for me, this creates the right ambiance for an evening of pure entertainment.
Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters is staged by The Phoenix Players, an amateur theatre group that has been running in Stratford since 1945. The story was adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs and directed by Phoenix Players’ Nick Johnson – and what a fantastic job he did in his debut as director – as well as playing one of the guards.
The Wyrd Sisters are three witches: Granny Weatherwax played by Margot McCleary who is the rather severe chief witch in this little coven; then there’s the very likeable, pipe-smoking, pink Dr Marten boot-wearing Nanny Ogg alias Karen McDonald; and the sweet and innocent novice witch, Magrat Garlick played by Freya Boardman. Together, they plan for the exiled Prince to return to his rightful place as head of the land, and to bring the wicked Duke Leonal Felmet (Adam Clarke) and the even wickeder Lady Felmet (Katie Cherry) to justice for murdering the king.
It’s funny, it’s witty, the characters play their parts with total commitment, each one bringing their own unique touch to their role, making the whole thing a real pleasure to watch. With 23 scene changes, it’s a snappily paced story, certainly no chance to get bored, and hats off to the boys and girls backstage plus lighting and sound, who kept the whole thing moving along so smoothly. A great production, a lot of fun for the audience – and I think for the cast too.
Wyrd Sisters. Bear Pit Theatre, Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon. September 26-29. Running time 2 hours.
The performance starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £12 (£10 conc.)
For tickets, call 01789 403416 or go to: www.thebearpit.org.uk