Fourth Monkey's Grimm Tales: Rapunzel

Rapunzel is part of Fourth Monkey's 2015 fairytale season and features their signature physical ensemble work. This large, youthful cast, directed by Angela Gasparetto, explores themes of abuse and entrapment through a twisted version of a familiar story.

Chanted spells, snatches of songs and a wolf chasing us through our dreams contrast with the clinical sparseness of an institution.

Taking place in a dream world halfway between reality and imagination, Rapunzel flickers between two intertwined storylines. The blend between the real world of a hospital and the magical world of forests and towers feels fragmented at times, and the second, modern day storyline isn't exactly clear but the company create a rich tapestry of storytelling.

Rapunzel, born unwanted and imprisoned in a tower, is the girl who is forbidden to grow up. Chanted spells, snatches of songs and a wolf chasing us through our dreams contrast with the clinical sparseness of an institution.

The structure of the piece is unbalanced, with the exposition taking far too long. The second half, once Rapunzel has grown up, is more satisfying; there is more clarity around the narrative and the portrayal becomes much darker, although the writing can be simplistic at times. It is reminiscent of a fairytale but too childish for the grown-up audience. Some of the ensemble movement sections feel forced or unnecessary and don't give the audience much credit for understanding what is going on.

Some of the most watchable and engaged actors onstage are members of the ensemble, who are perfectly committed. Larissa Teale plays a brave and bright-eyed Rapunzel, who must maintain a childish boldness even as she ages, while Rachel Barnwell is soft and captivating in the double role of Rosa and Rosie.

Accompanied by haunting nursery rhymes and with a textured design of flowers and braids of golden hair, Rapunzel is deeply atmospheric, although it is sometimes a case of style over substance. Although some scenes, such as Rapunzel's birth, are disturbing, most of the play fails to scare or intimidate and we do not become wrapped up in the magic. 

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

C venues - C nova

Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity

★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Free for All

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

If Only Diana Were Queer

★★
C venues - C nova

Two Thirds

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Much Further Out Than You Thought

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘A frankly wonderful company’ **** (Scotsman). ‘Absorbing’ **** (Independent). The multi award-nominated Fourth Monkey return to the Fringe with a season of Brothers Grimm inspired work in repertory. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair. Rapunzel is a dark reimagining of the infamous Grimm fairy tale exploring themes of abuse and entrapment. Utilising Fourth Monkey's signature physical ensemble way of working, this new adaptation offers a new take on a story we all thought we knew.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets