Witch-Hunt

Following Enter The Dragons, their 2017 Broadway Baby Bobby award-winning show, A&E Comedy are back with a new cackle-inducing performance, laced with mirth and magic. Shoulder-shakingly funny, the jokes are laced with sharp observations about gender and power. You won’t see a more kick-ass show this year, nor a funnier sex-bot.

You won’t see a more kick-ass show this year

Like a twisted French and Saunders who ditched Dibley to learn magic tricks and practice high-kicks instead, Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards cram Witch-Hunt to the brim with capes, false teeth, a musical saw and even, ahem, 'The Hanging Gardens of Babylon'. The show sold out on its opening night, and I expect the rest of the Fringe was drowned out by the sound of our laughter.

A series of absurd sketches whisk us through fairytale forests, down haunted cellars, and up close and personal with randy disco predators. With faultless comic timing, ridiculously good dancing and an ear-piercing line in falsettos, these two must be exhausted from being so talented.

I am so glad to see women making shows like this, unashamedly marrying angry with slapstick, and managing to be both silly and empowering. Barbed jokes about problems that haven’t gone away just because they are in the news (abuses of power, reproductive rights, collusion and silence) are searingly relevant. I was giggling as I winced.

Over-the-top costumes by Holly Murray complemented the surreal material while also celebrating the female empowerment message. I think they could turn a mean profit selling the lurid jumpsuits they wore to end the show. Puppets (yes, puppets) from Annie Brooks elevate the jokes to even sillier, and cruder, heights. The magic tricks are impressive, and make the most of a deceptively not-simple set. The songs are catchy and memorable, and I loved the witchy soundtrack that played us in and out.

This is one to take your best girl gang to. Maybe not the prudish ones, but definitely take along those who enjoy a dirty limerick or two. In the words of Dooley and Edwards themselves: 'Can we use witchcraft to take down the patriarchy? Yes, we can!'

Reviews by Rhian Bowley

Brighton Open Air Theatre

Romeo and Juliet

★★★
Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)

The HandleBards: The Tempest

★★★★★
The Warren: The Blockhouse

Witch-Hunt

★★★★★
Preston Old Church

Macbeth

★★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent

Bang Said The Gun

★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

The hell-broth’s boiling and bubbling! Get your coven ready, it’s time to hunt! We’ll be conjuring up weird sisters, over-familiars, DIY enchantments and 'the best' predators in this surreal, hilariously dark and twisted tale. Directed by Cal McCrystal. Winner: Best show, Brighton Fringe 2017. Top pick, Guardian, Edinburgh Fringe 2018 (Enter the Dragons). ***** (Funny Women) *****(ThreeWeeks) *****(Broadway Baby) *****(The Skinny) "Totally unapologetic, brilliantly outrageous. A flawless show" (Three Weeks) “Uproariously funny and unexpectedly uplifting " (Funny Women)

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