Backstage Pass

It sounds like the start to a horror film – a stranger approaches you in a chip shop and asks you to act in a play. Luckily this is real life and the person who approached us was Ruby, a crew member from Monstrous Productions. If you remember, we’ve been to see two of the Terry Pratchett plays they’ve performed – Mort and Wyrd Sisters, which we reviewed. And this time, we’re on the other side. We’re being transformed into snakes. Or rather, women who think they’re snakes. Apparently, Monstrous Productions really wanted us to be the twins – they knew about us through our reviews. To be honest, we were reluctant to participate. One, because although most of our social anxiety is gone, our innate shyness means we’re still not great in large groups. And two, because we love going to see the plays and we didn’t want to miss this one. But we went to the auditions anyway and enjoyed them, even participating in the role play. When we decided to stick with our yearly resolution of ‘say yes to things’, being in a play wasn’t something we’d envisioned.

Directed by Amy Davies, this will be the UK premiere of Pratchett’s Witches Abroad. Jason Anthony, who runs the Discworld newsletter with 20,000 subscribers, is coming to review the play. We’re so glad we don’t have a speaking role! Witches Abroad is about the three witches – Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick – trying to stop a servant girl from marrying the prince. Somebody has been turning real life into stories, but real life isn’t fiction and happy endings can’t be forced.

Having been in the audience twice, it’s great to see how things are done backstage. This is our first experience of being involved with a play in any way and we’re really enjoying it. A lot of work goes into these plays. Everyone is really lovely and we love watching people rehearse, because at least we get to see the play, albeit in small sections. Everyone who’s in it is really talented and we’re not just saying that now we’re part of it. Seriously, read our previous reviews. We find the warm up games difficult, due to our social awkwardness and we know we look as awkward as we feel, but everyone else has a lot of fun with them. We can’t wait to see the rehearsals progress from reading off the scripts, to acting it out in costume. As writers, it’s invaluable experience to see it from the inside. We’ve often thought it would be great to either write a play, or turn one of our stories into one, so it’s fascinating to see how it all comes together.

Our three scenes involve us standing around, looking creepy. It’s like we were born for these roles 😀 In one of our scenes, we have to maintain eye contact with one of the witches, Magrat. Those who know us in real life, know we generally avoid eye contact as much as possible, so having to hold it is challenging, but that probably adds to our creepy factor. If you come and see it, we’ll be unrecognisable as we’ll be in pretty dresses and long silver wigs. So we’ll be the ones looking like old drag queens. We always go to the plays with our mate, Tom and his girlfriend, Amy. After our first rehearsal, we texted Tom and told him about the dresses and said he wasn’t allowed to laugh when we’re on stage. When we texted him about the wigs, his response was “do you still expect me not to laugh?” 😀

Witches Abroad will run from April 8th – 11th at The Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch Street, Cardiff. Tickets are £8 and are available from here. So please come and see it if you can. Not for us – we’re only in 3 scenes, but come because it’s a brilliant, funny play. All profits go to Alzheimer’s research.

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Witches Abroad, Monstrous Productions

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