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The Lullaby Witch

Mark Griffiths
Part of the 24:7 Theatre Festival
Pure: Blue, Manchester
(2007)

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Leona Cash is a cynical rock journalist on Faab! Magazine, being shadowed by a young writer on work experience whom she admits is a better writer than she'll ever be. After the police call her in to question her about an odd children's performer called Laurel-Beth Polito who has turned into a child killer, Leona notices that Polito seems to have gone over the edge directly following a scathing review of her show that Leona wrote was published in the Evening Standard. After a career nose-dive and a miscarriage, Polito is kidnapping and mutilating child musical prodigies—and possibly coming after Leona and her friend as well.

The play has some great one-liners and some very effective tense moments and is able to switch between the two in a moment quite effectively. The play as a whole is more like a short story leaving the actor little to do but read it out, although it is given a powerful and compelling reading by Laura Harper as Cash. There is a lot in the plot that is unlikely or a little too coincidental and it seems that everyone needs a childhood trauma to explain why they are the way they are, but on the level of a murder mystery it has some good moments of tension, excitement and humour with a bit of horror thrown in and provides an entertaining 55 minutes of theatre.

Reviewer: David Chadderton