The Witches is a delightfully dark tale by Roald Dahl; the secret existence of witches who are working to rid the world of children by turning them into anything from slugs to rats. How to tell if someone is a witch? They are female, wear a wig as they are bald; they have no toes or fingers and wear gloves indoors. So beware!

When Boy (Ryan Boehm) goes to live with his Grandmamma (Amberley Crouchman) in Sweden he listens intently to her stories; they move to England and slowly the Witches enter his life. When his Grandmamma becomes unwell they go to Bournemouth which is also hosting the annual meeting of Witches under the guise of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

No spoilers here but this is great fun. The tale is delivered with great charm and humour with the arrival of the rats bringing much laughter.

All the company work hard to make this play work, it is quite demanding of the small stage but somehow it all just about fits. There is good energy and commitment from the cast. Max Dooley has fun as the ever hungry Bruno and the collective witches manage much nose twitching and menace.

Directed by Lydia Cook, this play has two casts; testament to the wealth of young talent in the company.

A thoroughly enjoyable night out, it is always inspiring to support such a spirited team who never fail to rise to a challenge.

Petra Schofield