Local face to star in Roald Dahl classic tale at QPAC

Published 12:00pm 2 April 2022

Local face to star in Roald Dahl classic tale at QPAC
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

One of Roald Dahl’s most loved tales is set to delight and disgust audiences these school holidays, with a new show opening at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Cremorne Theatre.

The Twits, featuring the gruesome twosome of Mr and Mrs Twit, will run from April 1-23.

Taking to the stage as Mrs Twit will be former Albany Creek resident Nelle Lee, who is also the Co Artistic Director of shake & stir theatre co, who produced the show.

Talking to Moreton Daily ahead of the show’s world premiere, Nelle says she is thrilled to bring this funny and gruesome story to life.

“A lot of people grew up reading Roald Dahl’s stories because he was such a master in creating characters and stories that everyone loves,” Nelle says.

“His writing made the books and the characters come to life, so when you adapt them for the stage, it’s such a beautiful medium to create and be a part of.

“I loved The Twits when I was growing up – it was one of my favourite novels - so I’m really thrilled to be able to play Mrs Twit.”

Local face to star in Roald Dahl classic tale at QPAC

A synopsis of the play

The Twits is a story about a pair of twits who continuously play nasty practical jokes on each other.

The show is full of trickery and wickedly funny pranks, explosions, repulsions, mischief, mayhem and big belly laughs.

“Mr and Mrs Twit are really horrible people – definitely people you wouldn’t ever want to meet,” Nelle says.

“They hate everything, except playing tricks on one another. Both of them try and outdo each other with each prank.

“Some of the tricks are a little gross and a little funny, which is sure to appeal to adults who grew up reading Roald Dahl, and the kids of today.

“There’s some magic sprinkled in the story, and some clever theatre tricks to create those iconic moments in the story, and just makes for an enjoyable show, which is something I think we all need right now.

“There is also a good morale to the story about treating others with kindness.”

Joining Nelle on stage is a stellar line up of Queensland talent including Leon Cain as Mr Twit, along with Darcy Brown, Johnny Balbuziente and Ellen Bailey.

The show is directed by Nelle’s friend and Colleague Ross Balbuziente, who is also a Co Artistic Director of shake & stir theatre co.

Ross says the company is relishing in the opportunity to be a bit wicked with this production.

“It’s a passion for us at shake & stir theatre co to use Dahl’s books as inspiration for reimagined theatre works for audiences of every age to enjoy,” Ross says.

“This is the fourth Roald Dahl adaptation I have had the privilege to direct, and I could not be more excited – it was one of the first Dahl books I ever read.

“Embracing that unbridled sense of abandonment and joy that Dahl’s words give will be a much-needed distraction, especially given the last few years. It is more important now than ever to take some time to laugh.”

Following her dreams

From a young age, Nelle knew she was destined for the stage.

“I did ballet dancing when I was younger, and that’s what ignited my love of performing,” Nelle says.

“When I realised I wasn’t going to be a professional dancer, I turned my attention to drama, because I loved telling stories.

“I studied drama in high school and performed in school plays.”

After school she continued to study theatre and has worked on numerous productions including Jane Eyre, A Christmas Carol and Fantastic Mr Fox.

In 2006 she helped form shake & stir theatre co, which not only produces plays, but supports the next generation of performers.

What is Nelle’s advice to them?

“I would say to anyone who has a dream of working on the stage to reach out to people, because you just never know where that can take you,” she says.

How to book

To reserve your seat, head to the QPAC website.

The show will run for approximately 55 minutes with no interval.

Tickets start at $49.

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