Switch Witchetty's Almanac of Everything, theSpace at Surgeons Hall, Haldane Theatre
What Is It?
Pinwheel Productions bring this fantastical kingdom to life, and tell us the story of Switch Witchetty and his almanac, in which he collects every story from the kingdom to help determine who is the rightful king.
What Is It All About?
Switch Witchetty, the fool who serves the princes of the kingdom knows too much. Now the king as died, the feuding pair are unable to decide who should rightfully take the throne, and Switch has no problem reminding them of all of this. So the future kings decide to be rid of their servant boy, by pretending he needs to burn a magical book, the Almanac of Everything, in order to find out who the king should be. Of course this almanac does not really exist, and so upon burning this book, Switch thinks he has made a mistake and sets out to write his own Almanac and finally learn who should be king.
But the Kingdom is not as he imagined it, and as Switch meets people he learns that the Kings have a lot to do in order to help the people of this land, and makes this his new mission. When he finally returns to the palace, one King is hiding, the other has been captured by pirates (but is actually the new Pirate king.) Switch offers that they should both be king, and both play on their strengths to make the Kingdom happy again. And, as it happens, this is the perfect solution.
How Did It Make Me Feel?
This is a lovely piece of theatre. Great for all ages, the jokes are both kid friendly and clever enough to make the adults laugh. The cast are all very talented, and they all have a chance at various points in the show, to play all the characters.
Throughout the piece the actors shout "Switch" and change hats and cloaks, and carry on playing new characters. This is a good idea in theory, but onstage it didn't translate as well, and became confusing, particularly for the young audience.
The music was brilliant, and, in particular, Jessica James-Moody was vocally lovely.
Jay James Moody was hilarious as various members of the Kingdom, and Alex Giles was wonderful as the head of the Tortoise family.
The story generally was great, but there were a few moments that felt a little convoluted, and could have done with a bit more simplifying to make the story a bit more concise.
Likewise, the piece had a lot of set pieces and props that were inventive and clever, but also difficult to manoeuvre and made for a noisy offstage presence that was a little distracting for the audience.
Volume wise it is often hard to hear the actors over the music, which is a shame as when they are heard, the cast sound great.
Overall the show is entertaining and great to be in the audience for. The cast were strong and had lovely stage presence, bringing us into their magical world. You also get a crown and map upon arrival. Score!
Switch Witchetty's Almanac Of Everything is playing at theSpace at Surgeons Hall, Haldane Theatre until the 24th August 2019.
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