The Little Mermaid doesn’t actually end happily and the 1952 Danny Kaye film, Hans Christian Andersen, is in no way an accurate version of the life of the Danish writer. Life is not like fairytales, says Rachel Rose Reid, and the sooner we grasp that fact, the more likely we will be to find real happiness.

Reid blends Andersen’s stories with tales from the writer’s life and episodes from her own past. The theme is love and the prognosis is bad: our lovers will disappoint us and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Reid is engaging as she recounts Andersen’s dark tales and her writing is exactly suited to storytelling, full of alliteration and poetry. There is a disingenuous quality to the rest of her performance, however, that makes this show difficult to relate to and ultimately, not a very satisfying experience.