Saturday, July 15, 2023

THE TWITS - Shake and Stir Theatre Company


Kieren McGrath (Mr Twit) - Judy Hainsworth (Mrs Twit)

Adapted by Nelle Lee - Directed by Ross Balbuziente

Designed by Josh McIntosh – Lighting designed by Jason Glenwright

Sound Design – Guy Webster.

The Q, Queanbeyan – July 13 – 15, 2023

Performance on July 13 reviewed by Bill Stephens


If you’re a fan of Roald Dahl’s books you probably know about The Twits. Possibly the nastiest most disgusting couple you could ever hope to meet  The Twits delight in competing with each other to see who can be the meanest and most gross.


Therefore you would think that meeting them in person would be something to avoid. However in Shake & Stir Theatre Company’s production the experience turns out to be sheer delight from start to finish.

Billy Foggarty (Claudette) - Will Carseldine (Maverick) - Reagan Mannix (Rex)


Played out in a magical circus setting designed by Josh McIntosh, complete with revolving stage and masses of colourful festoon lighting that reaches right out into the auditorium, the audience is introduced to The Twits by a vivacious, brightly costumed trio, Maverick (Will Carseldine), Claudette ( Billy Fogarty) and Rex (Reagan Mannix). 


Together they keep up a running commentary on the action, manipulate an endless supply of clever props and generally do their best to wrangle the mayhem resulting from the antics of the revolting Twits, played with irresistible gusto by Kieren McGrath (Mr Twit) and Judy Hainsworth (Mrs Twit).


Director Ross Balbuziente does his best to keep things as tasteful as possible given the subject matter which had the young audience (as well as your usually po-faced reviewer) squirming with delight. 


However it’s a losing battle given Nelle Lee’s delicious adaptation, which thankfully ignores the current campaign to clean up Roald Dahl. So there are plenty of fart jokes, and jokes about snot, bodily functions and general grossness to keep the kids gleefully sniggering at their parents, and grandparents, reactions.


This production is currently touring nationally.  The production values and performances are first rate, actually too good for kids, so when it gets to your town, don’t resist temptation, find the nearest kid as cover, and get yourself along. You’ll be glad you did.

       This review also published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW.