SUDS’ adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s novel is a clever pastiche of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, except played for laughs.
Indeed the immortal line, “When shall we three meet again?” opens and closes the play and results in the other two witches consulting their diaries.
King Verence of Lancre is killed by his cousin Felmet, after being egged on by Felmet’s determined wife. A servant, however, escapes with the crown and King Verence’s baby and rightful heir to the throne.
In this topsy-turvy world, witches, normally known for their evil spells, protect the heir and crown by giving them to a band of travelling actors.
Also unexpected are Felmet’s fool’s wise utterances that words can be more powerful than magic.
A good script keeps this light comedy bubbling along nicely. There is a sweet romance between the fool and Magrat, a young, pretty witch. They end up locked in a 15-year kiss, thanks to a spell from the other two witches.
The acting is good. Jill Wright stands out as Nanny Ogg, effortlessly portraying a kindly witch. David Reid and Julia Bisby are wonderfully over the top as the bonkers, dastardly Felmets. Thomas Markham in a cameo as the heir is stylish in the manner of Joseph Fiennes in Shakespeare in Love.
Shakespeare would say, in the end, All’s Well That End’s Well; or as the witches wisely observe, everything is going well and then destiny happens.