A bare stage, obscured by low lighting and backed by an eerie sinister soundtrack set the tone for this gripping retelling of the classic children’s fairy-tale, but this telling is definitely not for children. Fourth Monkey’s production of
This is a fantastic piece of theatre done by a talented bunch of people: visual storytelling at its best.
The narrative follows both Little Red Cap and carer Rachel, whose stories parallel each other in perfect unison, each scene flowing seamlessly into the next to provide a fresh take on how to present this tale. The standout performances of the group were Rachel (Christine McGowan) and Will (Matija Vlatkovic), who were incredible throughout and had wonderful chemistry in the scenes they shared. That’s not to say the rest of the cast weren’t equally fantastic. Across the board the performances were brilliant, each playing their part in achieving an effective atmosphere. A group of them in dark clothing and creepy makeup were a constant presence throughout the piece, folding themselves into the set and at times repeated the main character’s dialogue in a hoarse, raspy echo. They acted as a constant reminder that, even in the lightest moments of the play, this is a Grimm Tale.
Special praise also needs to be given to the wolf (played by David Elwood), whose design and performance was enough to give the full-grown adults nightmares, let alone any children. Combined with the aesthetically pleasing lighting design, the monstrous form of the wolf striding across the stage was a horror to behold.
Each component of the aesthetic fit together like pieces of a puzzle, complementing one another, demonstrating a clear sense of collaboration within the company. The acting was allied with the sound effects and the physical transitions were allied with the lighting, all working together to achieve a truly polished performance. This is a fantastic piece of theatre done by a talented bunch of people: visual storytelling at its best.