Wilmas Rating *
HAG is based on the old folklore tale of Baba Yaga, the child eating witch of the Eastern Slavic world.
This is The Wrong Crowds second production which is currently touring the UK. The 70 minute show is dark and obscure. As soon as the witch appeared on stage my friend whispered “I’m going to have nightmares about this”.
The story is about a little girl whose evil step sisters force her to go out into the woods to Baba Yagas house to get a light for their candle, knowing that the she would be unlikely to return after visiting the child eating witch.
The witch promises to give the girl the light if she goes into the fire and into the underworld to bring her back the thing most dear to her. Her dead mother.
HAG is 70 minutes of dark comedy and confusion. Is the witch a two headed dragon, or are we supposed to think the hideous head on her shoulder is the witch herself? Unfortunately there were many questions left unanswered and I came out of the show scratching my head about what was supposed to have happened. Who was the witch? What was her backstory and why did she eat some children but let others go free?
The show felt like it needed to be twice as long to be able to tell the whole story, but the muddled tale that was told could have probably been done in half the time (rather than raising questions in our minds that frustratingly were not answered).
Perhaps if the witch had eaten the girl at the start, we wouldn’t have had to sit through the rest of the show.
HAG is playing at London’s Soho Theatre until 20th October when it then moves to Bristols Old Vic and the Theatre Royal Plymouth.