25 February 2021 (released)
25 February 2021
The folklore tales captured and written down by the Brothers Grimm and performed by the Creation Theatre two hundred years later are a cautionary playground of life lessons. This new production is a storytelling treat: dim the lights, light a candle and settle down to hear some of the lesser known tales.
The five sets cleverly play with scale so the storytellers are boxed into cramped spaces almost the size of the screen; a claustrophobic metaphor for the madness of lockdown designed by Ryan Dawson Laight. Colour is absent, cloaked in shadows or delicately faded. The stories themselves are of isolation and rescue by magic, but the implicit question remains open: what will rescue us?
Heads, limbs and minds are lost. Things return in uncanny form and the actors contort themselves in their tiny spaces. The tales are compelling, told in pieces which form a new, monstrous whole. The performances, directed by Gari Jones are deliciously nightmarish. The stories are that familiar tale of humanity – efforts to buy what is beyond money’s worth; exchanging what is priceless for a few coins. Jealousy, greed and fear. And yet in that humanity, in our shared experience of loneliness and frustration, sitting on the sofa watching these old, old stories along with the rest of the audience is the knowledge that we are not alone, and out there are talented groups of people determined through performance to let us experience unity.