April 29, 2023

The Coven on Grey Street

 There's a tradition in theatre that Macbeth dare not be named for fear of the curse (Blackadder does an amusing sketch on this) set by witches. What then of depictions of Shakespeare's witches from the play? Is The Coven on Grey Street doomed? For its focus is those very witches.

In Aotearoa beneath the shade of a Pohutukawa, a beautiful and effective set, the weird sisters reunite for the first time in a decade on the occasion of one sister's wedding. The sibling dynamics are relatable, each sister reprising their familiar roles despite the passage of time. There are many call backs to Shakespeare in the script, you could tell who in the audience knew the original well.

It felt as though the production was geared more towards thespians than witches. Some of the seriousness was lost in theatricalness though it also has comedic touches. Only once is real emotion evoked, showing that it is possible. Two plot twists were signposted too clearly leaving no surprise. It's an enjoyable show for witches or Shakespeare buffs but it doesn't live up to its potential unfortunately lacking depth in plot and characterisation.

This review is brought to you by the many versions of Season of the Witch listened to during writing

Performances: 29 April - 27 May (times vary)

Tickets: $55

Audience Care: ‘The Coven on Grey Street’ features mild swearing, fake blood, descriptions of suicidal thoughts, misogynistic language and supernatural violence. 

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