Baba Yaga is a character featuring in folk tales from most European cultural traditions; a grotesque old woman who eats children then retains their skulls for macabre light fittings. The Wrong Crowd presents a lively take on this legend, telling the tale of the only child, Lisa, who has ever managed to escape the jaws of the hag. This Baba Yaga is Scottish, linking the Celtic vernacular tradition to its European contemporary - a fine touch.

The masks in Hag are exquisite, particularly that of Baba Yaga herself who looks like a terrifying haggis; if haggises had rows of discoloured molars perfect for child munching. If Yaga is a relation to Hansel & Gretel’s gingerbread hag, Lisa’s stepsisters have walked straight out of Cinderella via Dame Edna - if the bouncing curls and diamante cat-eye spectacles are any indication.

Hag is a deliciously dark bit of storytelling, the suppleness of the tale is evident in the way the audience can cower in horror and in the next instant be laughing at some wry truism. ‘I shall always keep you safe’, promises Lisa’s mother to her daughter, ‘What a lovely sentiment’, snarks Yaga in her dry lowlands brogue. Laura Cairns embodies the role of Baba Yaga with reptilian physicality, scuttling around the stage like Kafka’s beetle. The offal-ey looking mask is strapped onto Cairns right hand, the base of it joined onto a ‘spine’ affixed to Cairns’ back, enabling unsettling dexterity of movement.

Sarah Hoare’s Lisa is a wide-eyed, innocent, yet refreshingly ballsy heroine who beats up the Ugly Stepsisters when they’re mean to her and outwits Yaga at every turn. She was far more satisfying to root for than the traditional milksop female protagonists of the genre.

The denouement of the show features a delicately harmonised folk song ‘Oh for a home under the ground’ as Lisa buries the skull of one of Yaga’s child victims, reaching closure for her ordeal and achieving peace. It is a beautifully eerie finale to this sophisticated re-imagining of a familiar folktale.

Reviews by Laura Francis

theSpace on Niddry St

The Bastard Queen

Traverse Theatre


The Assembly Rooms

A Split Decision

Pleasance Courtyard

Show Off


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now


The Blurb

Baba Yaga, Slavic folklore's child-eating hag-witch reimagined. Dark, visually inventive storytelling theatre, fusing live action, puppetry and music. Following Edinburgh 2011 smash hit, The Girl with the Iron Claws. ‘Theatrical magic’ **** (Guardian). www.wrongcrowdtheatre.co.uk @inthewrongcrowd

Most Popular See More


From £39.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets