A review of Whitwell & Reepham Station Players’ production of Grimm Tales, adapted by Carol Ann Duffy – 25 February
This is a challenging piece of theatre that makes demands of all involved. It requires versatility from the actors, inventiveness from the production team and above all a willingness from the audience to be transported into a world where wolves, witches and the wicked truly exist. The tales also heed warnings to us all.
The performance by the players was full of fun and wit, and contained some lovely comic physical theatre.
As the evicted passengers of a broken down coach doze on the edge of a forest, their idle dreams come to life, retelling the famous Grimm Brothers stories.
The tales were delivered in an imaginative, endearing way and the actors handled the narrative and multiple characterisations superbly.
It would be hard to pick out any individuals because it was a great piece of team work. However, I will mention the pompous hare played by Julian Steed, who met his demise through his own arrogance and the trickery from two delightful hedgehogs; the comic, facial expressions from Greg Quinn; and the unconventional playing of Snow white from Ruth Lin.
It was also great to see a new younger member of the cast leading the way – Flic Quinn.
Each story had some great moments of performance or direction: the amusing dwarfs, the mirror sequences, the abandoning of Hansel and Gretel into the arms of a witch, the honking geese, the stepsisters and stepmother desperate to win over the prince, the hat ball, the fate of naive Red Riding Hood and the puppetry of the Golden Goose.
The costumes were simple but effective, and the best use of the space was made to give a suggestion of a forest.
Could some of the tales have been slightly darker in mood at times? Possibly. But with the climate as it is in the world today, who wants to believe that wolves, witches and the wicked exist anywhere but in our imaginations?
Overall the audience appeared to have a most enjoyable experience. Well done Whitwell & Reepham Station Players.
- Whitwell & Reepham Station Players meet from 7.15–9.15 pm every first and third Wednesday of the month at the Bircham Centre, Market Place, Reepham. Contact: Rowena Edwards 01603 870641 or email