The Twits. Dahl. Co-created by Humphrey Bower and Michael Barlow. Based on the book by Roald Dahl. Directed by Michael Barlow. Assistant director Sam Longley. Designed by Leon Hendroff.
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. Street One. The Street Theatre. Until June 13. Bookings 6247 1223. thestreet.org.au.
And terribly mean.
They are The Twits.
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre from Western Australia has brought Humphrey Bower's and Michael Barlow's adaptation of Roald Dahl's story to the Street Theatre as part of the company's national tour.
Actors Geordie Crawley and Isaac Diamond energetically take on the roles of Mr and Mrs Twit, as well as Muggle-Wump the monkey and the Roly-Poly Bird.
Designer and puppeteer Leon Hendroff has ingeniously constructed puppet figures, adroitly manipulated by Crawley and Diamond in a simple and appealing show that combines puppetry with live performance and just the right touch of "yuk" to keep a young audience entertained for 45 minutes.
In appealing and directly told storytelling through puppetry and physical theatre, Crawley and Diamond play out the dastardly tricks that the Twits play upon each other, the cruel treatment of Muggle-Wump and the horrid act of using Hugtight Sticky Glue to trap the birds for their bird pie.
Co-creators Bower and Barlow ensure that Dahl's events are carefully selected to highlight the main incidents within the book before revealing the plot by Muggle-Wump to trick the gross Twits and fool them at their own game.
The use of circus and fairground music to accompany the various episodes lends the show a lighter touch, focusing more on the silliness of the characters and the excitement of the action.
The young audience remains enthralled as Crawley and Diamond keep the action moving in a nimble and versatile display of mime and movement.
The use of circus and fairground music ... lends the show a lighter touch, focusing more on the silliness of the characters and the excitement of the action.
In the end, Mr and Mrs Twit get their just deserts, as should all twits who think ugly thoughts and do ugly deeds.
Every member of the audience can't help but learn that if they have only good thoughts they will never be ugly, no matter how they look on the outside.
It is a moral simply told and enjoyably shown.
It is worth staying for the short Q&A at the end of the performance.
I was very impressed by the questions posed by the young members of the audience in attendance, many of whom had read the book and were keen to unravel the show's mysteries and reveal the magical charm of puppetry.