When adaptations of fairy tales or classic stories are staged, their darker origins are often overlooked in favour of either dumbing down or sugar coated family fare. Neither of these scenarios crop up with Hiccup’s latest, Rumpelstiltskin at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatre.
Entering the theatre you are greeted by the cast as they wander through the auditorium celebrating their fairy selves. When the show starts, the real joy begins. This is a joy in not only telling their story but also a genuine joy in engaging their audience and inviting them along for the ride.
The four cast members play an array of roles, from storytellers, through to fairies, fathers, daughters, Kings and Queens. All slipping from one to the other with ease throwing in a quick burst of activity on an instrument and a verse or two of a song for good measure.
What sets Hiccup Theatre’s tale aside from most is their theatrical tenacity. Whilst embracing the story’s origins, they also add some very nifty nods to other tales and create their own legends in doing so. Such is the clarity of Mike Kenny’s script and Sarah Brighman’s Direction that any liberties taken with the story only add to the delight as the production unfolds.
This is a show aimed at families and one in which children of all ages are engaged throughout. However there is something to be said for its appeal to the young at heart as well. Whether you take your family, tag alongside someone else’s or go by yourself, Hiccup Theatre with charm, entertain and delight in equal measure with their one hour of joyful storytelling.