Review: ‘Wyrd’ jokes fail to hit home

TERRY Pratchett’s “Wyrd Sisters,” adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs, directed by Kerrie Roberts for Women’s Theatre Forum at Tuggeranong Arts Centre, until August 25. Bookings to 6293 1443.

Reviewed by Helen Musa

TERRY Pratchett’s novels and stage adaptations have a huge international cult following, and no wonder. 

In “Wyrd Sisters,” chosen by director Kerrie Roberts for its  terrific female roles, the language is rich with puns, literary allusions to Shakespeare (especially The Scottish Play) and the Brothers Grimm, as well as argument about the primacy of language as the  means to power, all wrapped up in an epic tale where three rural English witches overcome the forces of evil.

This is an  ambitious production for  Roberts, enhanced with magic tricks, echoing voices and projected screen animation. Supported by a solid network of designers, backstage workers, it features a substantial cast which, in spite of the fact that it is a TAC Women’s Theatre Forum production, boasts slightly more men than women.

Janine O’Dwyer and Elaine Noon as the senior village witches and prime movers of the action delineate their characters effectively, and Tracey Thomas as apprentice witch matches their experience with appropriate naivety.

But in an arch, self- knowing script like Pratchett’s, comic timing is of the essence and alas, with the possible exception of Jonathan Sharp playing the Fool, none of the cast nails it.

The opening night was full of long pauses, missed gags and throwaway lines and shuffling sounds in the dark during the many unnecessary blackouts for scene changes.

It seemed a long night.

 

 

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