On the first day of rehearsals actor Guy Edmonds asks director Lucas Jervies, “Why are we doing this?” Edmonds recalls, “He said ‘I want to make adults feel like children’ – that was the mantra going in and it was a really great anchor working at that level.”
This one-man show, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, began as a final year NIDA project for Jervies. Through workshops with Edmonds it became an energetic, physical and darkly comedic show. Two years on and with a successful run at the Malthouse in Melbourne, The Witches is playing for Griffin Theatre Company in Sydney.
The chance to tackle mature themes with a child-like sensibility seems to be what drew Edmonds to this role. Speaking about Dahl he says, “He doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life. He fills it with joy and love, but it’s not entirely a rose-coloured view of the world.”
For Edmonds, working on multiple levels is what makes a master storyteller and reading those stories a necessary part of growing up. He vividly remembers reading scary books as a child and “the victory of overcoming that by yourself” being part of the reward. (ATS)
Sep 24-Oct 5, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $22-25, griffintheatre.com.au