An energetic and inventive performance by Illyria brought a touch of magic to the final outdoor play at Lytham Hall this summer.
A colourful three-tier set with multiple doors and a huge white bath was a visual treat as the cast of six kept up a high tempo, but also slowed down effectively as each of the magic tricks was revealed.
David Martin, as The Sorcerer played expertly to the audience, Jenny Cullen was always bright and feisty as Lucian his apprentice and Emma Clare suitably and wholly unattractive as the witch Wisteria Wartblood. Katherine Lunney was wonderfully angular and northern as housekeeper Mrs Potts and there was strong support from Bethany-Jo Clews and Chris Sawahla, particularly as Bo and Bobo, the leaders of the broomsticks. Ben Wiles’ music, based on Paul Dukas’ score used in the film Fantasia, added much to the action as the cast nipped around the set in balletic style. The large number of children at the front, completely ignoring the rain, loved the illusions, notably in the finale as Lucian was ‘cut in half’. This morality tale has had many manifestations and this ingenious adaptation by Oliver Gray always kept the audience in suspense.