Creation Theatres’ production of Grimm Tales for fragile times & broken people is creatively conceived and engaging; even for those who believe they have the imagination of a walnut.
With slick and garishly effective design from Ryan Dawson Laight, effectively dark direction from Gari Jones and brilliantly produced by Giles Stoakley, Grimm Tales for fragile times & broken people is filled with symbols of hope and joy from the tiniest details of origami creations, to the excited delight in the frailest of voices. The strong cast of 5 lead us through a mirage of stories with their optimistic twists, from the well-known tales to the cheeky contemporary nuances, as nicotine hits are a big hit amongst a character or two!
The stories are cleverly interlaced taking us through different locations and environments using a variety of storytelling techniques with puppetry, focus props and atmospheric visual and sound fx. The pace throughout the changes seems surprisingly efficient and no single-story lacks attention. Some stories resonate stronger than others which I expect is a subjective response.
Natasha Rickman’s delivery of Rumpelstiltskin is particularly enjoyable, with great connection to text and a well-rounded, believable commitment to the characters involved, it is engaging from start to finish without missing a beat. Similarly, Graeme Roses’ charming emcee voice encourages a warm and friendly tone from the start giving us the confidence to trust the performance will be filled with truly enjoyable storytelling.
The most minor of technical sound difficulty from Kofi Dennis challenges the authenticity of their performance which seems to lack nuance and focus at times. Perhaps this is an accidental charm that seeps into the dark style of the piece, or it is a deliberate trait as they resemble the light hope of the moon.
The production itself is very well planned and works really well for a distanced cast as each member can engage fully with the text through the lens; inviting us to share in the dark depths of lock down. I highly encourage you heed the pre-production advice – lights off and light a candle to really inhabit the mood of the stories.
It’s great to see a piece of work with a clear purpose – to inspire positivity as we look forward to leaving the confines of our own isolations and reminding us that we are not alone. This is a message a lot of people could benefit from hearing and sharing in this moment of universal solidarity.
Grimm Tales for fragile times & broken people streams until 13th March 2021. Tickets are on sale here.