City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Twits Review

By Justine Blundell - Posted on 06 August 2013

Show details
Zoo Southside
Incognito Theatre Company
Running time: 
Students from Bourne Grammar School

When poring over the hundreds of short adverts introducing the entertainment available at the Edinburgh Fringe, a Roald Dahl stage adaptation is always on offer among the list of shows for children. This is a good thing, a ‘no-brainer’: children still love Dahl, adults still love Dahl and provided the adaptation is recognisably the same story and is delivered with energy and enthusiasm, you really can’t go far wrong.

Back for their fifth year at the Fringe, amateur group Incognito Theatre Company aim their version of The Twits broadly at 4-10 year olds. As ever with Dahl, the story contains rather dark over-and-under-tones that cause hysterical laughter in children. Incognito wisely played up the fun and successfully glossed over the more sinister aspects of the tale.

The Twits are a smelly, spiteful couple who delight in playing nasty tricks on each other out of sheer loathing. Mrs. Twit puts her glass eye in Mr. Twit’s drink and feeds him worms while pretending at first they are a new kind of spaghetti. Mr. Twit puts a frog in her bed and shortens her walking cane to convince her she is uncontrollably growing.

They unite in nastiness, kidnapping a family of Muggle-Wumps (monkeys) and holding them hostage while forcing them to learn tricks in exchange for food. Eventually the monkeys are rescued by the Roly-Poly Bird and enact revenge by caging the Twits and locking them in before they leave.

Anyone familiar with the story would be aware that a few changes had taken place but this mattered not a jot. It was a lively, often witty, retelling that was intelligent enough to keep the children involved without allowing them to take over (not always easy, even for seasoned professionals).

Large signs depicting desired responses such as ‘Eww’, ‘Haha’, ‘Aw’ and ‘Ooh’ encouraged appropriate participation at appropriate times. Props hidden under seats in the audience generated excitement and encouraged children onto the stage and into the action. Amusing musical interludes such as the Benny Hill music whenever the Twits chased each other and the Pink Panther theme tune playing while the monkeys escaped, kept the grown ups suitably amused.

Simple but effective - the young ones especially loved it – an absolutely fail-safe, guaranteed hour or so of very affordable fun.

Runs 6-10 August, 1pm

£6 (£3)