THE Twits is a daunting story to stage. While the tale of a group of monkeys and their revenge on the vile Twits is something to delight young audiences, the logistical challenges are immense; how does a director handle a cage of monkeys living upside down? Mrs Twit’s ascent by balloon? Birds on a tree? An upside-down house? These aren’t small obstacles.
It’s a credit to writer David Wood and director Max Webster, then, that all these problems are solved in a well-produced, fast-moving show that left the children thoroughly delighted. There was plenty of audience involvement; any production that can persuade British theatre-goers to place their shoes on their hands has clearly got something going for it.
The actors have to be singers, musicians and acrobats and they handle everything superbly. There are some witty songs – I loved the references to other Roald Dahl books in one of them – and I can happily report that the Twits themselves, courtesy of Robert Pickavance and Jo Mousley, are suitably disgusting.
This is a really cracking show, full of wit, humour and invention and a suitable tribute to the genius of Dahl.