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Rumpelstiltskin (Egg Theatre)

The first full length Christmas musical is also one of the Egg's best.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Crystal Condie (Rumpelstilskin)and Iris Roberts (Emily) in the Egg's Rumpelstiltskin

From the outset it is clear that writer Matt Harvey and compser Thomas Hewitt Jones have created one of the best Christmas shows that The Egg has offered in the past few years. Given it's their first venture into a full length musical, this is a very impressive start.

The tale of Rumpelstiltskin is clearly updated; full of equal opportunities, political correctness and brilliantly tempered humour alongside the prevailing darkness which keeps a sinister edge to the proceedings.

Emily, a feisty well sung and hugely engaging Iris Roberts, is offered to the King, Richard Lowe, a joyously pompous, essentially useless royal by her Miller Father [Stephen Leask] on the promise that she can spin straw into gold. The fiercely agile, intimidating and disturbing arrival of Rumpelstiltskin [Crystal Condie] completes the excellent cast.

Ingenious lyrics, catchy tunes and a naming song that defies some of the best comedy numbers around ensure that even the big kids will be thoroughly entertained. The creative vision is simple but effective from designer Colin Falconer. The precise and witty direction Lotte Wakeham keeps it visually lively and full of energy and the overall style is complemented further by Cressida Carre's vibrant choreography.

This is a dark tale, no spoilers here, but needless to say the journey for all the characters is one of truth, learning and understanding what is important in the world. At the very centre of this production is great warmth that captures family values and a healthy sharing of fear alongside the triumph of good over evil. The age is 7+ so for those old enough to get a ticket should get one now, a triumph for the Egg and the creative team.

Rumpelstiltskin plays at the Egg until the 4th January 2015.