Although some may read the description and think The Brother’s Grimm Spectaculathon sounds like an ideal children’s show, I would advise against taking any young ones to see it, unless they are in the above-five-and-really-love-pretend-violence category. There are no puppets in this show, no set, no props and the costumes are of a highly minimalist nature. What this show does have are five American teenagers acting out a slew of the Grimm brother’s fairy tales, all rolled into four stories.

Camille Borrowdale, Justin Nicholson, Jake Greenfield, Adriana Gomez and Tiana Marshall are given a pretty tall task in this show, each having to play over five different roles. They do make slight errors (talking a bit too fast, occasionally speaking over each other’s lines). However, they never trip up on their own lines and their acting ability is certainly not at fault. Of special note are Nicholson and Gomez as teenage Hansel and Gretel; Marshall as Cinderella’s stepsisters and Borrowdale and Greenfield in almost every part they play, but especially Greenfield’s prince (‘Hey babe, you’re hot, wanna get married?’)

The script itself is amusing. Granted, there are substantial continuity issues when it comes to plot (how did Gretel become Cinderella who also happens to be Rapunzel’s mum?) but the stories don’t seem as if they are meant to stand on their own. Rather, what they do is act as vehicles for the high number of one-liners this show delivers. Pretty much every other line in this play is a joke and if some fall flat, the sheer volume of them ensures that many will hit.

Although the show is minimalist in many respects, it does provide quite a bit of personality and a fair amount of laughs.

Reviews by Margaret Sessa-Hawkins

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Performances

The Blurb

Actors and puppets recreate 209 Brothers’ Grimm fairy tales in an extravaganza. Even tougher, they’re combined into one fable using Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella and stories like Lean Lisa and The Devil’s Grandmother.

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