Rumpelstiltskin - the egg theatre's Christmas Show 2014 - (ref2) crop

Rumplestiltskin. The egg Theatre, Theatre Royal Bath
Like the opening song about a little going a long way this production achieves just that. And in one sense it could have done with a little more to make it go even further considering the range of talents assembled behind the production.
Did the director Lotte Wakeham subconsciously hold back on making this folk story a bigger show? Perhaps. Certainly it could have gone up 25% in ambition to become something far greater than the sum of its parts.
And yet that may sound churlish as Rumplestiltskin is an excellent four star show with the cast of four giving their all as the story reached its climax. But somehow it needed a little bit more such as film and more special effects perhaps, or the musicians to be on stage and in costume to add extra depth to the cast, and a back story to the main protagonist whose raison d’être was something of a mystery. Why did Rumplestiltskin want a child so much and why was the dark forest so frightening?
This aside Rumplestiltskin is a highly enjoyable musical play with four first rate performances from the cast of four. Iris Roberts as Emily has a beautiful voice, and gives a gutsy performance as the rags to riches heroine who lives on her wits. She cuts a dash in two outfits – one a pastiche of a peasant girl crossed with a little Vivienne Westwood – the second a neat cross between the peasant girl rags and a regal one with a swirling layered skirt and an decorated princess line bodice.
Stephen Leask as The Miller, brought the show to life with his dad dancing and was a constant hit with the young audience as he goofed around, moved with suprising agility even kissed the king. Cat-like in movement Crystal Condie as Rumplestiltskin was a strange mix in dress mixing the Rat King from Dick Whittington and a shiny spiked ant-eater, but never allowed her character to become a pantomime baddie.
While Richard Lowe’s camp King reflected Emily’s narrative of being transformed by life’s events. Effiminate, comedic and with an excellent feel for timing and connecting with the audience Lowe also sings beautifully.
Children clearly loved the show and were neatly included into the story when name ideas were required or when a chorus was needed to be sung, but again the style never became panto but simply inclusive, a delicate line to hit for the director.
Matt Harvey’s lyrics and script were witty, fun and always moved the story along while Thomas Hewitt-Jone’s compositions were fine motifs to this Christmas season show.
Harry Mottram 4 stars Age: 7+
Reviewed on Friday 5th Deccember 2014
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