Skip to main content

Review of Fairytales For Grown Ups at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Are you sitting comfortably? Oh, you're not. Well get off the spiky shaped toadstool and climb into your favourite comfy armchair at I am about to begin.

It was a cold and chilling evening on the very final day of January of the year two thousand and fifteen. There lay upon the fair land of the kingdom of the place known as Northampton the final remnants of a storm of snow, sleet and slush.

On this night a brave, debonair, handsome, tall and dark (well this clearly is a fairytale) gentlemen struck through the streets towards a striking building. This building made of fine bricks and sporting a protruding chimney of no smoke, held many delights upon this cold night. As the fine young gentlemen arrived he bustled through many patrons, fair of age, who gathered on this night to relish music and dance of a magical time the people did called the swinging sixties.

Our hero however was not at this place of theatrical things for this such spectacle. His destination was a place much older. A place much older than anyone within this building of dreams on this night. Sitting like a baby brother beside his boisterous larger sibling was the place people called the Royal Theatre.

On this night within this fine place were to be two tales told by two magical storytellers. As people gathered in the theatre, they scampered, hustled and scurried to their seats like some giant and weird game of musical chairs. However upon this night there was no music to wait to stop and seats were to be had by all. All were seated and all hoped that everyone had switched their magical portable communication devices off so everyone could listen to the wondrous tales in silent silence.

A man stalks on the stage in great leaps of leg. Tall and stately with billowing coat of length and tie of red. He boomed of voice and cried out CRICK and the crowd cried CRACK. Our hero who had not had story told before this night knew he was surrounded by many accustomed to such things. The man stayed briefly upon his place as he heralded another to take his corner upon this old, old stage.

A lady did come wielding bell of cow and rung and pranced around while telling her yarn. Spirited of foot and with musical instruments of old, she told a tale of wonder, of a white bear so bold. The audience sat captivated of tale of princess, of troll and of noses so bold. The narration was wondrous, with many voices made to tell her tale. Captivation was held until the very end after which many drinks were inhaled.

For the second tale the man strides back upon the boards and told a tale perhaps more bold. Booming of voice he told a tale of JACK and a blacksmith of mystery and disguise. There was imprisonment and split of limb and with wolf and eagle and slithery of snake and many fishes partaken. The crowd once again was enthralled until the magical ending.

It was indeed a night of wonder. A world away from cold. A magical place that our hero did become bewitched with and when he does journey their once again, he may cry CRACK more bold.


Performance reviewed: Saturday 31st January, 2015 at the Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton.

Fairytales For Grown Ups was held at the Royal & Derngate (Royal) on Saturday 31st January, 2015 to celebrate National Storytelling Week and featured performers Ben Haggarty and Sally Pomme Clayton. For more information visit their websites at http://benhaggarty.com/ and http://www.sallypommeclayton.com/

For further details about the Royal & Derngate visit their website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Rules For Living at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

It is possibly a rule in life for a few in the audience for the opening night of Sam Holcroft's domestic comedy Rules For Living not to mention Christmas until December. Therefore anyone of such a persuasion might have been a little perturbed to be presented on the 13th September with, an undeniably brilliantly dressed, homely Christmas scene.

Opening up in glorious dollhouse style and on a gorgeous little hinge, this little home of living room and kitchen sets the scene for a typical family Christmas. Mother Edith (Jane Booker) welcomes her sons, Matthew (Jolyon Coy) and Adam (Ed Hughes) and their respective partners, Carrie (Carlyss Peer) and Nicole (Laura Rogers) And with a final dramatic arrival of father Francis (Paul Shelley), the scene is very much set for comic antics of the highest calibre.

The first thing you get from Rules For Living in the first few minutes is the arrival of one of the most brilliant, yet simple concepts I have seen for a while in the play. These are …

Review of Make Way For Lucia by John Van Druten at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

There have been a couple of television versions of the Mapp & Lucia novels by E. F. Benson over the years and irrespective of which generation version you might have seen, the roles of Miss Mapp and Mrs. Lucas were filled with some heavyweight performers. So taking on these roles could, in theory, be a challenge too much to live up to. However, that would be if the characters themselves were less the sum of the performer. These are great characters on paper as well as on stage and therefore Gena McCrystal (Miss Mapp) and Juliet O'Connor (Lucia) make them very much their own in the stage adaption by John Van Druten.

Lucia has arrived and breezed both into the town of Tilling and the musical chair roundabout of house rental that is want to occur here. Her rented property is Miss Mapp's and for some reason, Mapp fails to follow the routine of keeping away, constantly "popping in", so the battle lines are drawn.
Make Way for Lucia is the typical battle of supremacy i…

Review of Once Upon A Grimm Tale by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company (Early) at Judge's Lodgings, Northampton

Once upon a time, there was a brave theatrical reviewer. He lived in a market town in deepest darkest Englaland, where many great and remarkable things of stage did occur. At the centre of this wondrous world of performing spectacles was a place referred to by many as the Royal Derngatus, a place of people pretending to be other people and telling tales of mystery, intrigue and frolics.

Within the fortressed walls of Royal Derngatus, there were a group of fearless players who entertained local folk for no reward, other than the thrill of seeing the joy in the faces of others. Those group of artists went by the name of Actors Companus, which many pronounced carefully when they did say it out loud. This group of merry men and women did have two forms, an early and a late, and but two days before this adventurous evening of forthcoming storytelling, the late group did perform for a third and final time a most amazing feat of theatre, going by the name of Great Expectations.


Our hero of thi…