As Grimm Tales for Fragile Times and Broken People, the latest innovative digital production from Creation Theatre, began on Saturday night we were encouraged to turn off the lights and light a candle.

Anticipating darkness in every sense, as our evening of Zoom viewing got under way we were glad we had!

Settling in – or rather perching slightly terrified on the edge of the sofa – it became clear why candlelight was such an important element in the production. The dark shadows lurking in the miniature world of Grimm Tales resonated with our current confinement to our homes in this darkest of times in our own lives.

“enticing, dramatic, creepy, fascinating and ultimately poignant, it leads us deep into dark, wild woods and strange, alarmingly confined spaces”

Grimm Tales for Fragile Times and Broken People is a deliciously dark and twisted set of fairy tales, performed by a five-strong cast, bringing its culturally starved stay-at-home audience a feast of storytelling inspired by the classic fairy tales from Brothers Grimm.

This is a production hugely relevant for its time which explores the pandemic-related themes of isolation, confinement, loneliness, loss and death, by turning our living room into a strange and eerie world.

It is enticing, dramatic, creepy, fascinating and ultimately poignant as it leads the audience deep into the dark, wild woods and strange, alarmingly confined spaces to meet the characters that tell their frightening and sad stories of loss, love and death, hence the 12+ age guideline.

“A must-see piece of theatre for all its layers of brilliance, which left me emotional but hopeful”

Set in a distorted world of hand-crafted toy theatres, reinvented and reinterpreted for the digital stage, this production features a collection of the most gruesome fairy tales including Hansel and Gretel, The Juniper Tree, The Moon, Rumpelstiltskin and Godfather Death.

Directed by Creation regular Gari Jones it has been devised by the five actors from the new Creation Theatre Rep Company which includes Kofi Dennis, Dharmesh Patel, Natasha Rickman, Annabelle Terry and Graeme Rose, following a major grant from Innovate UK.

(READ ABOUT IT HERE) https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/breaking-news-oxfords-creation-theatre-celebrates-new-funding-announcement/ 

Miniature theatres have been built in each actor’s home, an extraordinary undertaking in itself, and although dark and creepy, serve as a reminder that we, as humans, can overcome our struggles and are not alone – even during this very challenging time.

And, of course, in true Creation style, there are numerous irreverent and recognisable references to our own world, in this case Waitrose and Boris, that ensure the whole production is hugely relatable.

The set design, costumes and make up are as strange and distorted as the stories themselves, and demonstrate Creation’s commitment to quality regarding both its digital and staged productions.

This was an affecting and deeply relevant piece of theatre that served as a timely reminder that we are not alone, whatever we are going through, and that there is always a ray of hope and light to focus on. 

A must-see piece of theatre for all its layers of brilliance, which left me emotional but hopeful.

Suitable for ages 12+. This production involves themes of death which may be upsetting to some audience members.

Join Creation in Grimm Tales for Fragile Times and Broken People from 28 January – 14 February 2021. You can then enjoy streamed performances – with the audience sharing the experience together from 24 Feb – 13 March – Book at https://www.creationtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/grimm-tales/

SARAH EDWARDS

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