• sheilavanloo

It's Shakespeare, But Not As We Know It

Updated: Jan 29

The Third Witch From The Left

Finding The Will & Tortive Theatre

Jules Hobbs

Over the past few months, there has been a surge of theatre companies forming successful collaborations to create and share work online; Finding The Will and Tortive Theatre have recently joined the growing list of companies to team up. This week they re- launched live screenings of Finding The Will’s popular Bard Heads series The Third Witch From The Left opened the series with the fabulous Jules Hobbs reprising her talking heads role as Meg The Witch. Meg was born in Avebury 431 years ago, currently an astrologer and popular cookery writer, Meg is wracked with guilt over her part in the horrors and bloodbath in Macbeth. Meg is a rare being among witches having been born with a conscience she lives under an unwanted curse which prevents her from dying. In a desperate attempt to assuage her deeply entrenched guilt Meg has joined a therapy group where she slowly unburdens herself.

As Meg begins her tale of woe it becomes clear that she was an innocent bystander in proceedings after being packed off on witchy work experience by her mother. An innocent girl of 16 sent away from her beloved Avebury, Meg dutifully followed the teachings and directions of the Scottish coven she found herself in and was shocked to the core at the outcome of that night on the bleak moorland.

Meg’s only surviving friend in her long life is her beloved cat Malcolm; blessed with top hunting skills he regularly supplies Meg with the ingredients for her recipes. I’m not convinced that Meg would stand a chance on Bake Off - presenting delicacies containing toads, mice and the odd small bird isn’t likely to set the judges’ taste buds salivating.

A guilt ridden, exhausted witch who travels back through time to ‘fill her needs’ by enjoying liaisons with the rich and famous, Meg has us on her side from the start. We, the audience, are her therapy group – we do not judge, but listen enthralled to Meg’s plight as we reach the conclusion to her woes. No spoilers to the outcome as the Bard Head stories may well come round again.

The magic of the Bard Head tales is that they are written from a different perspective to the Bard’s plays, cleverly focussing on one character relating their own part in each story. The 50 minute talking heads are brilliantly written stand alone stories that don’t require any knowledge of Shakespeare. Jules Hobbs is magnificent as Meg, portraying the hapless witch with a twinkle in her eye. The Third Witch From The Left is inventive and very funny, with beautiful moments of poignancy. As an added bonus Third Witch carries a cracking soundtrack.

Next week’s talking head is Richard Curnow with Call Me Oz, what secrets will courtier Osric reveal about Hamlet? Book your tickets via www.tortivetheatre.com

Discover more about Finding The Will - www.findingthewill.com

Sheila Vanloo

January 2021

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