Wrong Tree’s Rumpelstiltskin is a musical retelling of the classic fairy tale of the farmer’s daughter and the mysterious imp. As the daughter is ordered by the King to weave straw into gold, she makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to help her, not realising that this gold would one day come at a high price. With a guitar musical score pacing the performance and stylised costumes, Wrong Tree manages to create an aesthetically pleasing, though not completely satisfying production.

Rumpelstiltskin is an aesthetically pleasing retelling, both musically and visually.

The play begins with an appropriately disgusting and lazy king. Immediately the costumes stand out as nicely designed and aesthetically stylised, especially in reflecting the theme of gold. Similarly the guitar music carries each scene along with effectiveness and creativity (reflecting the tone of each scene while also keeping things moving). There’s some great direction between the king and his servants although the dialogue is a little stunted. This proves to be the biggest problem with the play, as the dialogue drags the performance down. There are some good songs here, but it’s shame there isn’t more, as some of the songs are a little simplistic compared to others. Nonetheless, the choreography is great.

The play tells the story effectively enough. The farmer is made more sympathetic in having to give up his daughter to the king, and the king does a fantastic job of being humorously repulsive. The king’s servants are also amusing, though some performances are better than others, meaning dialogue can be split half and half between good and not great. Rumpelstiltskin is appropriately both creepy and charismatic although he loses this charisma towards the end. Overacting in this play is both good and bad, sometimes being funny and other times being awkward. There are some funny moments which do keep the play moving although not every joke is executed perfectly. Nonetheless, the play is entertaining overall.

Rumpelstiltskin is an aesthetically pleasing retelling, both musically and visually. A good effort from Wrong Tree though the execution is lacking a little. Nonetheless with just a little improvement the play could become a simple and enjoyable production well-worth seeing.

Reviews by Euan Brook

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The Blurb

A combination of quirky comedy, live music, surrealism and physical theatre, with an interactive set and the odd dance thrown in there for good measure. Rumpelstiltskin is a fun yet dark reimagining of the classic tale, exploring how power and jealousy can be manipulated to help out the everyday man. Twisting the Grimms’ fairy tale on its head, we follow the journey of the miller’s daughter as she enters the maniacal king’s court, meets the mystical Rumpelstiltskin, and finally outsmarts them all.