Grimm Tales – Unicorn Theatre

Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales at the Unicorn Theatre promises an exciting take on some of the best loved stories of the Grimm Brothers. Peter Gray reports.

Grimm Tales at the Unicorn Theatre

This well chosen collection of tales from the legendary Grimm brothers leads its audience into a dark world of fantasy, enchantment and magic. The Unicorn Theatre is the venue for the show with the theatre given an imaginative makeover for the production.

The collection has been brought together by author Philip Pullman and it is Pullman who has reworked the tales that form the basis for director Philip Wilson’s production.

The tales feature all of the usual fairy tale staples, wicked witches, enchanted creatures, distracted parents and precocious children as the stories take us to the heart of the forest and into the depths of the darkness.

The stories are told in narration with the actors acting out scenes even as they describe what is going on. It is an interesting way of delivering the stories and for the large part it works admirably.

The titles of some of the stories are much more obscure than the names of their famous authors and hence the audience will need to concentrate to get the most out of the evening as some of the tales are quite confusing.

The subject matter of Hansel & Gretel will surely be known to all but tales like “The Three Little Men in the Woods” or “Faithful Johannes” will be new to most. However, the production is first rate throughout and the mix of traditional folk lore and Grimm Brothers whimsy is a charming mix that will ensure most come away from this production satisfied.

Phillip Pullman’s Grimm Tales is at the Unicorn theatre until the 6th of January 2019

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