The Witches

David Wood's stage adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel. The story of what happens when one brave boy gets tangled up with a whole conference load of Witches, meeting at a seaside hotel disguised as members of the Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The audience is transported from a rustic cottage in Norway, to the Hotel Magnificent in Bournemouth. There are wonderful mouse's-eye views of the plush staircases and rooms - and some shocking sights as people disappear into thin air on stage, or turn into mice before the audiences eyes.

Original West End London Production 1992 with Dorothy Ann Gould

1st West End London Revival 1996 with Katerina Jugati

2nd West End London Revival 2005 with Ruby Wax

Roald Dahl's other London shows include Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


Original West End London Production 1992 with Dorothy Ann Gould

Previewed 1 December 1992, Opened 2 December 1992, Closed 23 January 1993 at the Duke of York's Theatre

The cast featured Dorothy Ann Gould as 'Grand High Witch', Janet Whiteside as 'Grandmother', and Karen Briffett as 'Boy', with Susannah Bray, Kenneth Collard, Terence Frisch, Caroline High, Emma Jay, Eric Potts, and Adam Stafford.

Directed by David Wood, with choreography by Shelia Falconer, designs by Susue Caulcutt, illusions by Paul Kieve, lighting by Simon Courtenay-Taylor, music by Peter Pontzen, and sound by Mike Furness.


1st West End London Revival 1996 with Katerina Jugati

Previewed 9 December 1996, Opened 10 December 1996, Closed 18 January 1997 at the Vaudeville Theatre

The cast featured Katerina Jugati as 'Grand High Witch', Katherine Barker as 'Grandmother', and Karen Briffett as 'Boy', with Emma Barron, Graham Breeze, David Burrows, Cornelius Clarke, Mary-Ann Coburn, Jane Kent, and Nathan Metcalfe.

Directed by David Wood, with choreography by Shelia Falconer, designs by Susue Caulcutt, illusions by Paul Kieve, lighting by Robert Ornbo, music by Peter Pontzen, and sound by Mike Furness.


2nd West End London Revival 2005 with Ruby Wax

Previewed 3 March 2005, Opened 9 March 2005, Closed 2 April 2005 at the Wyndham's Theatre

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company's stage production of Roald Dahl's The Witches in London starring Ruby Wax

The cast for The Witches features Ruby Wax as the 'Grand High Witch', Dilys Laye as 'Grandmother', and Giles Cooper as 'Boy', with Isabel Ford, Chris Hawley, James Hirst, Peter Holdway, Camilla Mathias, Keith Saha, and Catherine Skinner. Please note that the role of 'Grand High Witch' will be played by Katerina Jugati at 10.20am on March 8, 1.30pm on March 9 and 2.00pm on March 15, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30 and April 1.

Directed by Jonathan Church, with choreography by Jenny Arnold, designs by Simon Higlett, illusions by Paul Kieve, lighting by Mark Jonathan, music by Matthew Scott, and sound by Paul Groothrus.

Dilys Laye's London theatre credits include playing the roles of 'Madame de Rosemonde' in Tim Fywell's revival of Christopher Hampton's stage adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Playhouse Theatre in 2003; 'Mrs Medlock' in Adrian Noble's production of the Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon musical The Secret Garden at the Aldwych Theatre in 2001; and 'Cinderella's Mother'/'Granny'/'Giantess' in John Crowley's revival of the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical Into The Woods at the Donmar Warehouse in 1998.

PLEASE NOTE: This production is most suitable for children aged seven plus.

"For the next three weeks Roald Dahl's The Witches is back in town. True, it has been around a while - even the film was out back in 1990. But this new stage production at Wyndham's far outclasses all others, not least because of Ruby Wax as a magnificently malevolent chief witch, wonderfully supported with some truly magical magic by Paul Kieve, the personal magician to Harry Potter himself... The great expert on children's theatre, David Wood, has done a nifty stage adaptation... what matters here is that he and his great cast have got the tone of Dahl so perfectly right - that tricky mix of the savage and the satirical, the innocent and the all knowing, the witty and the wicked. This is a show, then, for children of all ages under about 17 - and maybe for a good many of their parents as well." The Daily Express

"Despite Jonathan Church's excellent track-record, however - his last production to reach the West End was a fine version of Of Mice and Men - the result is rather tame. The main problem lies with the witches themselves. Having them gather at a hotel in Bournemouth, pretending to be delegates to a meeting of the NSPCC, was one of Dahl's happier strokes. Rightly handled, their show of gentility can be thoroughly sinister. But on this occasion, thanks to perfunctory presentation, the opportunity is thrown away. Only Ruby Wax , as the Grand High Witch of England, is given a chance to let rip, but despite a slinky black costume, a German accent and the best efforts of the make-up department, she fails to arouse the authentic delighted shudder or nervous laugh." The Sunday Telegraph

"My children's favourite moment in Roald Dahl's The Witches is when the child-hating Grand High Witch removes the mask that is her pretty lady's face and reveals her true features, wormeaten and putrefying. Alas, this gleefully gruesome episode is missing from David Wood's harmless adaptation. Ruby Wax, as the Grand High Witch, has a dodgy nose and some nasty looking boils, but in a chiffon number that is almost glamorous she stops well short of looking grisly. Wood replaces Dahl's delight in things disgusting with lots of cute mouse-business in which the Borrowers meet Chaplinesque comedy as two boys in mouse suits struggle to climb huge stairs without leaving their chocolate behind them. Dilys Laye is a wonderful wise old Norwegian grandmother who loves her tiny mousegrandson regardless. The rest of the cast act with cartoonish exaggeration, all in vain." The Mail on Sunday

The Witches in London at the Wyndham's Theatre previewed from 3 March 2005, opened on 9 March 2005, and closed on 2 April 2005.