The Dwarf Witch
Here we have something which, if trouble is taken to prepare properly, will not only create laughter and bewilderment among the little one but will also mystify the grownups. Some time back we saw this trick performed at a party the whole audience being amazed. Perhaps it would be well to relate it just as we witnessed it on that occasion.
The scene was a dining room with a bay window, across which was drawn heavy curtains, meeting in the middle. A small table was placed where the curtains met, the legs of the table being hidden by baize, which was pinned around. Two people performed this trick. One had his face made up to look like an old witch with long grey hair and a witch’s hat. The same person had placed a pair of socks on his hands so that the upper part extended well over the wrists and his hands into slippers. A dark red pinafore was pinned around to look like a skirt and bodice. He stood behind the table where the curtains met, putting his slippered hands on the table. The curtains were pinned just behind his head, and directly under the table, so that all the audience could see was the head down to the hands, which were resting on the table to represent feet. Now the witch was complete, all but the arms and hands. The other person, standing behind, then pushed his arms through the armholes of the pinafore, but only just far enough to appear in keeping with the size of the witch – just sufficient to enable the hands to reach the witch’s face. A pair of long mittens were next placed on the wrists we hen had a perfect dwarf. The voice was disguised, ad the hands move in harmony with what was being said. Now and then the hand was raised, to scratch the head or face; and when the witch coughed, the hand was raised to the mouth fortunes were told, people coming right up to the dwarf and placing their hands in hers without detecting the trick. While the witch was telling the fortune a finger of one of the hands was pointing to the lines in the person’s hand. The two actors used their imagination and the old witch chuckled, laughed and danced with her slippered hands, to the delight of all.
It is well to have a stage manager, who might announce early in the evening that the hostess has engaged the famous witch ‘Zaza’ measuring only two feet in height and whose age was a hundred and fifty-six, to tell the fortune of anyone in the room. This will give rise to much speculation and wonderment and all will be looking forward to the time when she will appear
When this time arrives, set chairs for the grown-ups and a few for the players. The manager should make an appropriate speech and at its conclusion say, “Now I will introduce to you the wonder of the age – the renowned witch ‘Zaza’” at the same time drawing back a little curtain, which you must fix over the witch previously. Of course, there will be much clapping of hands and roars of laughter, during which the witch must bow, chuckle and dance. Our advice is to have one or two rehearsals when success will be certain.