The nationally touring production of The Twits will roll into town for two shows on Thursday, June 15, bringing with it the nastiest, most horrid, hideous and hilarious individuals to ever grace Launceston's Princess Theatre.
Produced by Brisbane-based theatre company Shake and Stir, The Twits production adapts for stage the best-selling and much-loved British writer Roald Dahl's children's book of the same name.
It follows the unkempt and vile Mr and Mrs Twit, who in their continuous quest to one-up the other's awfulness play nasty practical jokes on each other to amuse their own wicked humours.
Dahl famously penned other children's stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and Matilda, and his work has been the subject of censorship discussions worldwide earlier this year.
Actor Kieran McGrath dons the "thick hair" and beard of Mr Twit, that sprouts "in revolting tufts" from every orifice, and said that it was outrageously fun to be "so, so bad" and to bring the production to Tasmanian audiences.
"We're so excited to be here and scare audiences with The Twits, who are these obviously negative, horrible people," McGrath said.
As Mr Twit, McGrath is tasked with enacting a series of horrible pranks on co-star Judy Hainsworth (Mrs Twit), like slowly extending the length of her chair and cane until she's convinced she's shrinking.
"She gets me back throughout the play, don't worry," McGrath said.
"With The Twits the idea is to have fun and see what happens to people if they do nothing but hold nasty thoughts in their heads.
"It's quite fun in that regard."
The full-scale production is aimed primarily at younger audiences and is part of Shake and Stir theatre company's series of Roald Dahl inspired stage shows.
However, with the original children's book having debuted in 1980, McGrath said there was plenty for older fans.
"I come out of the theatre often thinking that the parents are more impressed than the kids; they have a deeper appreciation for seeing The Twits come to life," he said.
"And as an actor, this style of theatre with kids as your audience is a real pleasure. They tell you exactly what they think."
And although The Twits is a production that draws audiences in with its outrageous mischief, McGrath said the show had a fundamental message at its core.
"These two awful people who show that having awful thoughts project outwards; your outside starts to match," he said.
"And the opposite is true and Roald Dahl tells us that: if you have good thoughts they'll shine out of your face like sunbeams."
Roald Dahl's The Twits will show twice at the Princess Theatre, Launceston, at 11.00am and 6.00pm on Thursday, June 15.
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