Review of Laura Cooney’s The Twits in NZ!

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    • #211847

      Wow this is a great review. I’m very proud of this!


      Very good crowd. 6.30 is clearly an ideal time.

      I sat with a woman who has been involved in childrens’ theatre for 25 years, so I knew from experience that any deficiency in the production would be quickly remarked on. That the only criticism was Р“they opened the theatre door too early at the end of the first half!” Рsuggests this was a damn fine production. And so it was. As soon as you saw the brilliant set you expected it would be, and powered along by excellent music, even during the interval, and the power of the performers, the pace never let up.

      Ideally childrens’ theatre hits a small number of can’t-fail bases – simple story, call and response with the audience, physical comedy, good guys and bad guys, something for the adults who bring the children, and set and costumes that truly transports the child into the magic kingdom. Oh I forgot, food at half-time. Seven bases. The Twits hit all seven. This was better than last year’s The Witches, and will be very hard to beat in the future.

      Did Mark Neilson have the play’s dream role or did he make it a dream role? Whatever, he was magnificent. While it would be nice to see him play a normal human at The Fortune, I would never tire of him playing Mrs Twit. Glen Hancox paled beside him, but was still very strong. (It did occur to us that Sarah McDougall as Mrs Twit, and Mark as MISTER Twit, would be a mouth-watering couple!)

      The Muggle-Wump monkeys (Jodie Bate, Danny Still, Anna Nicholas) quickly established distinct personalities. All different, with different comedic skills and physical abilities, and all wonderful. Anna did make the best monkey noise though, credit where credit is due.

      Roald Dahl’s The Twits – adapted by David Wood Рwas a great stage production and was brilliantly directed by Laura Cooney. Every word was clear, the choreography – and there was a lot – confident and well executed, and the physical gags exceptionally funny. It is amazing what kids will laugh at, most noticeably the distasteful and toilet-based, but the children at The Twits loved this eye-averting stuff to death. So I guess they know what they are doing, cynicism has yet to hit their frail under-developed minds.

      And then they all got squirted by giant water pistols. How basic. How stunningly successful.

      Roy Colbert

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