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Last Friday’s (Jul 6) sold-out performance was a riot of burping, slurping, snorting and bellowing as two of literature’s most revoltingly rotten characters were brought to life. From Mr Twit picking scraps of dinner out of his straggly beard to Mrs Twit dropping her glass eye into her husband’s beer, the actors appeared to be having a genuinely wonderful time revelling in the pranks and bad behaviour which would see their young audience sent straight to bed after a stern ticking off. The performance invited plenty of audience participation, with much booing and hissing as the terrible Twits captured loveable monkey family the Muggle-Wumps and forced them to perform in their circus.
Herts and Essex Observer
Illyria have never disappointed me with their catalogue of previous touring shows. Each was done with a humorous take and I knew from the start that this one would be another gem. And packed with hilarity it was, with a special pantomime-style production, perfect for the children. The cast of 6 were not just superb actors, but musicians, and stage hands alike. A very talented bunch indeed.
It’s not just the children who are happy to participate. In order to help trick the Twits into believing the world has been turned upside down we must take off our shoes and put them on our hands. It’s quite a sight, and can only be testament to a great performance, to witness a sea of shoe-waving children and grown-ups, in a mass display of audience interaction. Illyria’s production of The Twits is a perfect blend of horror and humour with enough absolutely disgusting bits to enthral the most demanding child.
The five strong cast did both their director, Oliver Gray and Roald Dahl proud. An entertaining conclusion which saw Mrs Twit hurtling to the moon at one point, encapuslated everything that was successful about this production- it had humour, endless enthusiasm and terrific acting. It was my second time at an Illyria production and I’d definitely go back for more. I’ll pass on the worm spaghetti though!
After seeing the awful Mr Twit eat the "squirmy and squishy" worms his equally awful wife has served him instead of the real thing, spaghetti is surely about to be a "no-no" as a school dinner in Penwith for quite a while. Somewhere among the mayhem they create is a moral, that such bad behaviour doesn't pay. I must admit I enjoyed every horrible and hideous, shocking and silly second of it. The cast of six, The Ringmaster (Alastair Chisholm) the Twits (Christopher Barlow and Lizzy Dive), the Muggle-Wumps (Matthew Rothwel and Emma Vickery) and the Roly-Poly Bird (Thomas Heard), are athletic and appealing, courageous and convincing. This is a daring and delightful "shoes off" winner of a show.