Running Time: 40 mins
Grimms is a British play, performed by Ibstock LVI, that takes the well-known fairytales from the German writer and turns them into a collection of farce, horror, stupidity and fun.
Well, I have to say that I really enjoyed this play! As well as having a great collection of brilliant comedy, it takes the classic fantasy stories and makes them not only more enjoyable than the originals through its fast pace, but more simple, allowing for extra room for comedy to come through.
This play was set up in four tales: The Golden Goose, Little Red Cap (Little Red Riding from da hood in a nutshell), Rumplestiltskin and Snow White.
So, The Golden Goose. Focussing on the story of a simpleton who finds a magical goose and has an adventure of a lifetime, this was probably the best blend of farce and creepy horror of the four tales.
It starts with an absolutely bizarre introduction to the tale, performed brilliantly by Sani Husseini, who seemed to develop the character of hermit for the entire play, resulting in a strange musical number which was by far one of the most disturbingly hilarious things I’ve ever seen. Along with the creepy make-up to make the actors look like little dolls, it’s a whole mess of running around the stage again and again and again to some incredibly weird music, and that chaos makes it more farcical, and therefore more entertaining to watch.
Throughout, there are hundreds of hilariously creepy characters that get thrown at you, such as the seemingly uncuttable tree, the weird old man (played hilariously by Adam Zinkin), the three sisters, who rather than being in 1812 were more in 2012, and the simpleton: Dummling (played by Ben Bauman (who often seems to play an idiot), whose idiocy adds to the comedy, while his innocence makes him all the more likeable to support.
Next, Little Red Cap. The more recognisable story of the four, pretty much taking the loveable story of Red Riding Hood, and sending it into the back alleys to make for a brilliantly skewed adaptation. A hilarious performance by Emma Marshall, doing some bizarre Cockney-esque accent, while maintaining the innocent nature of Red Riding Hood, was just priceless.
Various other characters, like the big bad wolf, played by Sherief El-Shazly, who seemed to be some weird mixture of a suave man and a wolf, which just made it even funnier, and although it didn’t have the chaos of The Golden Goose, it was still seriously entertaining to watch.
Moving onto Rumplestiltskin. This is pretty much where the darker element to Grimm’s Tales comes into play, and although this segment maintains the whole play’s hilarity, the conflict between Rumplestiltskin and the Miller’s daughter is oddly haunting to watch, with a great central performance by Tori McBride that involved idiotic crying and idiotic weaving in a completely ridiculous situation.
This was definitely the quietest of the four tales, and included three main characters, however the side actors were always ready to step in to add to the farce just that little bit more.
And finally, Snow White. Visually, this was the most exciting story. Using an intriguing combination of bright and dark lighting to highlight the conflict between Snow White (played brilliantly by Camille Lewis), and the evil Queen (played hilariously and darkly by Sofia Gomezllata-Marmolejo), it made for a thrilling final watch.
But don’t think the comedy disappeared. Oh no. There was a whole heap of satire on the story of Snow White, along with an annoying, but hilarious rendition of Heigh-Ho, as well as a bit of poking fun at the fairytale genre as a whole, with jokes taken from various other tales such as Goldilocks.
Overall, then, I’ll give this an 8.2, because it was a hugely enjoyable, consistently hilarious, well-acted and well-directed play that keeps you enticed in its comedy and story all the way through.