Review: The Twits. Leicester Curve Studio.

five star

The Twits at Leicester Curve is a five star Dahl-ing of a very funny show. You would be an utter Twit to miss it!

a five star Dahl-ing of a very funny show.

Roald Dahl’s children’s book about the odious Mr and Mrs Twit and their captive monkeys and gross desires for fresh bird pie loses none of its style and humour in this fantastic stage adaptation by David Wood. Max Webster directs the piece with pizazz and offers up treat after theatrical treat in this highly visual show. It is chock a block with oodles of enormous fun and tons of audience participation. Quite possibly, it is the only show in the country right now where the punters will be asked to take off their shoes en mass and pretend they are upside down to fool the nasty Mr and Mrs Twit. The audience tonight loves every daft second and when one of the monkey cast delivers their line “It isn’t funny!” a sweet innocent voice of a little girl in the audience happily cries “It is funny!” What better validation of success could one ask for in a show aimed at a young family audience?

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The energetic cast are stupendous with Robert Pickavance being sublimely gross as the hirsute Mr Twit (his soiled second act Y fronts are a sight you’d rather not behold). Jo Mousely as Mrs Twit is profoundly horrible yet desperately amusing as the vicious stick wielding Mrs Twit. One just aches for them to get their comeuppance for all their cruelty.

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The Muggle Wump monkey family are made up of four terrific quadrupedal threat performers bringing to the stage their delightful acting, live musicianship, acrobatics and singing skills. Luke Johnson is Daddy Muggle Wump, Liz Jadav is Mummy Muggle Wump, Alex Chang the Boy Muggle Wump and Charlotte Workman is Girl Muggle Wump. This agile group keep the high energy going throughout the short but extremely entertaining show. Their monkey antics and reactions are a joy to behold. Playing the Roly-Poly Bird Jack Horner is hilariously characterful as he prances around the stage in his feathery costume on stilts and encourages the audience to wreak revenge on the Twits and free the monkeys from their tyranny.

The birds who land on the old dead tree are beautifully actualised with lights by the cast.

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The actors all warmly engage the audience whilst people are being seated with the exception of The Twits who are waiting to be revealed in their mobile home in a most dramatic way. The set design of the grotty interior of the Twits’ mobile is grime personified and designed by Georgia Lowe. The splendidly creative lighting design is by Joshua Pharo. The Twits composer is Dougal Irvine and the plentiful sound effects come courtesy of Caroline Downing.

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For a family show that packs an awful lot of phizz-whizzing action into 90 mins (including interval) it is totally Gloriumptious!

The Twits ( a Curve and Rose Theatre Kingston production) runs at the Curve Studio until 15 Jan 2017.

Photos credit: Pamela Raith

Reviewer: Phil Lowe

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