Take some two hundred year old fairy tales that we all know and love...give them a Phillip Pullman spin and dip that into some immersive theatre and what do you have 'Grimm Tales' on at the OXO Tower wharf (which in itself is a lovely location). Check out the trailer here:
One of the things that I love about literature is its adaptability into other formats, especially theatre and especially when its more than me just going and sitting in a theatre. Here you get to sit IN THE STORY! From the minute you walk in you're immersed in the purpose built set, of which the design and execution were fantastic! Just look at the pictures and you'll see what I mean. The attention to detail, and the taking of classic tales and adding a grit to them was beautiful. Walking in to a room find full on Snow White was quite the impression too...creepy might also be a good word, but that’s by the by, and you'd have to go and see it to understand what I really mean.
The characters lead you on from room to room, where each separate story is told. The characters move around you, weaving their story, and it was more that they recited the tales like a narrator, adding action to bring them to life, rather than this being a play of the stories, which I really enjoyed as it felt fresh and gave a sense of understanding in some very strange stories. James
Byng was fantastic, as his characterizations really stood out for me, and indeed all the cast played their various roles well, switching between stories effortlessly, often creating a lot out of a little, with some great accents to boot!
This was however somewhat of its weakness. The stories chosen weren't you classic, commonly known Grimm Bothers either, with tales like Thousandfurs and The Frog King, and so on the one hand whist I found it interesting to get to know these stories, I felt like It would have been nice to
have known them beforehand, or that I would have liked more some the known tales just with added grit, so I could comment on their adaptation. And with only six stories there was scope for a lot more from this and including more stories I feel would have been an effective touch that would had made my experience amazing rather than just enjoyable, even if it was just actors milling around as we wondered around afterwards (which I loved you could do), rather than full on re-tellings.
The facts are however, I did enjoy the show, I do think people should go and see it, and I would love to be an actor in such a show one day! Just saying
Grimm tales is on at the Bargehouse, OXO Tower Wharf until April 11th