Rumpelstiltskin ★★★★ Park Theatre | Dec 13, 2022 - Jan 14, 2023

Rumpelstiltskin has a problem! Things didn't work out as planned with Rapunzel and now everyone knows his name. His days of spinning straw into gold in exchange for newborn babies seem to be over. However, this turns out to be a new, reformed gnome. He actually makes a friend of Daisy, the cow, who has lost her pal, Jack, of Beanstalk fame, to the machinations of the evil Dream Catcher. And, with the help of his new bovine buddy and some other familiar storybook stalwarts, he sets out on a quest to defeat that villain who is seeking to destroy the fairy tale world. John Savournin's convoluted, but amusing, tale has all the elements of a standard panto, yet also recalls some more sophisticated fairy tale riffs such as Sondheim's Into the Woods. There's lots of fun here from the broad humour that will appeal to the young ones to sharper references that will be appreciated by the adults. David Eaton's score is full of delights, and his "Three Blind Mice" and "Rats!" are great additions to the repertoire of rodent standards we all love. Philip Lee as Rumpelstiltskin simply dominates the stage. His energy is completely infectious as he leaps and cavorts throughout this uplifting tale. Emily Cairns, Tamoy Phipps and Lucy Whitney who play a multitude of roles in the story demonstrate an incredible versatility and ability to create credible characterisations in the blinking of an eye. The Christmas offering from Charles Court Opera is always a seasonal highlight, and again this year, the award-winning team has produced another must-see show.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Bill Knight

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