Gird your loins ladies, for evil is afoot. Wickedness, temptation and forbidden fruit but a single pelvic thrust away from sweat glistened ecstasy. Yes, the musical version of the popular 1987 film is here and it’s pants are bulging.
The tale follows a trio of single artistic ladies who live rather unfilled and frustrated lives in the stifling moral pretentions of Eastwick, a small town in 60s America.
It's rather like Desperate Housewives in circle skirts, only all frustration and no liberation. That is until a certain Darryl Van Horne (Marti Pellow) blows into town in a creepy cloud of sexual panache and quickly gets a corrupting to release those pent up sexual desires. Only it’s rather more than that, he’s genuinely bad.
Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet and Chicago fame does a great turn as Darryl, his lechery and perversion just inside the safety mark of style. He’s clearly been studying the film as some of Jack Nicholson’s motions are recognisable. However, this Darryl has taken a different route, the malevolence is less edgy, the performance more wryly comic and physical. Think Jim Carey in the Mask, only this times the suit is purple, the mask is devilishly bad and he’s addicted to fucking.
Our witches in the making are well cast, a busty blonde bookworm Sukie (Rebecca Thornhill), a tightly buttoned school mistress Jane Smart (Poppy Tierney) and wine supping sculptor mother Alexandra Spofford (Ria Jones). They all boast great voices, particularly Poppy Tierney, and work wonderfully well in harmony, not to mention alongside and astride Mr Pellow.
All this temptation boils over in a colourfully staged and oddly warped twist of the American dream, like Happy Days and Beetlejuice had an illegitimate son. A great setting for the four leads who make this revamped Cameron Mackintosh show a provocative night of fun for those who aren't shy of a bit of slap and tickle.
The Witches of Eastwick plays at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Centre from Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 April 2009.