I entered the Pit at the Old Vic; this stage is becoming a favourite. The Pit is set up so the seats all look down onto the stage area. The stage was set with a semi circle of hanging skulls a gas fire and rubbish mound, adorned with an old lady chair, covered in blankets. In the background a folk tune played on string instruments. The atmosphere was building.
As the lights dimmed, the Hag, Baba Yaga, came out. Baba Yaga’s costume is ingenious; the longer I watched the more convincing it became. The old Glaswegian accent reminded me of visits to my scary aunt as a child. For me the accent helped build the tension and fear, but I think that’s my personal experiences.
In the play there are eleven characters, yet there are only four actors. I was incredibly impressed at how this was achieved. The play is a mixture of dark folk tale and comedy. Both are here in equal measure. The cast successfully draw you into the tale with the believability of the characters.
At one point I was brought almost to tears, the sadness palpable. This was soon replaced again by laughter. The story is reminiscent of several tales from my youth but different from all.
I would happily go to see this play again and I do not think it is too dark for children, nor does it go on too long for them to sit through but this may depend on how sensitive your little ones are. Mine were all made of fairly sturdy stuff and would have been more concerned about me being scared :).
Please go and see this fabulous folk tale it is a perfect pre halloween treat.
HAG IS on at the Bristol Old Vic until 26th October.
– Review by Cat Daynes