Do you remember the warmth and magic you felt being told stories before bed as a kid? That elation you feel when you’re totally engrossed in a book?
Will leave you feeling full of wonder and ignite that wonderful imagination that comes from a well-told story.
The performance covers four key Grimm brothers’ tales – Hansel and Gretel, The Golden Goose, Beauty and the Beast, The Mouse, Sausage and Bird and Rumplestiltskin. Led by the Storyteller (Ashley Bates) and his band of actors we move through each story, revisiting the settling of storyteller and his actors in between each tale. The cast of four from the Story Pocket Theatre moved seamlessly into each character and worked well as a team, creating entirely new imaginative settings with the smallest of prop or stage changes. Using a variety of mediums – including some incredibly intricate and beautiful puppets – the show kept you constantly entertained with different surprises in the form of song, juggling, audience participation and even some minor acrobatics.
We are first greeted by Bates when we are shown to our seats, he kicks of the magical atmosphere by strolling around silently on stage scribbling fervently – and what he is doing all becomes clear once the show starts. As the performance unfolds, watch out for Bates’ little slights of hand and magic tricks that create the perfect imaginative environment for the stories we then see.
The story-telling kicked off with Hansel & Gretel; this was the weaker of all the stories performed, and it would have benefited from more of a comedic spin as we saw in the other tales. However, Sarine Sofair’s wicked step-mother and witch was excellent, striking the perfect balance of funny, creepy and mysterious. William Forde is definitely one to watch, his memorable performance in the The Golden Goose was very funny and his tone for all three brothers was wonderfully executed, whilst Emily Beach made the perfect princess with a wonderful pouting face. The traditional telling of Beauty & the Beast was beautiful to watch, and clearly meant to be the star tale of the show, and understandably so, all four of the troupe gave outstanding performances, particularly Beach as Lily. The Sausage, the Mouse and the Bird saw a lot of laughs and again Forde shines with his comedic performance. Finishing with Rumplestiltskin, this was undoubtedly the best of the stories to be told – and worth waiting for at the end – the puppet used and voices of Rumpelstiltskin himself were incredible and left my inner child yearning for more stories and for the show to just keep going.
For both adults and children – as many of the puns may have been missed by younger audiences – the show will leave you feeling full of wonder and ignite that wonderful imagination that comes from a well-told story.