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Home arrow Archive: EdFringe 2013 arrow Grimm Ever After
Grimm Ever After
Published on Sunday, 18 August 2013

3 stars

Paradise in The Vault (venue website)
13-18 Aug, 5:45pm-6:30pm
Reviewed by Lizzie Bell

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

Once upon a time in a little village, there lived two brothers – and Grimm Ever After is their story. This delightful little play imagines how the ideas and inspiration for their tales literally came to the brothers Grimm. We follow them deep into the forest, where they meet a host of familiar characters and help them find their "happy ever afters".

When the brothers have an argument and William storms off into the forest, there begins an adventure that will change their lives. William meets Rapunzel, who has definitely rescued herself, and they set off with her evil stepmother in pursuit. Meanwhile Jakob goes in search of William to apologise, and – starting with a talking frog – collects a host of companions, each needing help. From rescuing Grandmother from the wolf's belly, to finding the Princesses, the group set off for an adventure.

This was an interesting idea, if a little clichéd, and I greatly appreciated the references to the 'original' tales (rather than the more censored modern tellings). However I did feel there was too much crammed into this 45-minute play, and the story didn't quite flow as a result. Some of the scenes changed very abruptly, and there was little depth to the decisions of the characters – they simply changed their mind or decided to go with the group. Despite this, the cast have done well at bringing out endearing traits in all of them: little Red is scatty and squeamish, the frog prince is reluctant to leave his new life behind, and prince Charming is "unique".

The play had a good plot with some funny moments. I particularly enjoyed the character of the frog – an ex-prince with commitment issues, an over-the-top French accent and a very impressive hop. Jakob was also well-played as a kind, practical older brother, and Cara was well-acted too. Unfortunately however, some of the actors seemed particularly nervous, and there were a few forgotten or stumbled lines as well as a few that were said somewhat stiffly rather than fully in character.

The minimal use of props and scenery worked well with the constantly-changing settings and interleaved adventures, and the wolf was portrayed in a particularly clever way. However, having a desk and chair always at the front meant some parts of the action, such as the wolf's head and some of the fighting, were obscured from the audience.

This is an interesting take on the brothers’ "inspiration", with some very good ideas and some excellent characterisations. While certain improvements could be made, this was nevertheless a watchable, funny and quite delightful show.

<< Where Late the Sweet Bird...   Trouble With Comedy >>

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