In 2013, Phillip Pullman brought out his Grimm Tales for Young and Old in which he took 50 of his favourite Grimm tales and presented them in his own voice. And it was also Pullman who said:
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
I read Pullman’s collection in April 2014 on a ferry to Belfast and they were every bit as magical as I’d hoped. Fairy and folk tales have long been one of my favourite escapist reads.
So I’m plugging a recent theatre experience that was so amazing that I want to shout about it on every forum out there. An adaptation of six of Pullman’s tales is currently on in London at the Bargehouse on the Oxo Tower Wharf. And I was fortunate enough to see it on 15th Feb.
The website bills it as an immersive fairytale and it definitely is. From the minute you arrive, every little detail has been crafted to help you get as lost as possible in the experience, whether you’re in the bar, the toilets or even the corridors and stairwells. And the Bargehouse is the most perfect venue as you follow the action through a series of dressed rooms. There’s little sense of ‘stage’ and ‘audience’ here – you move in and out of the set with the actors and, perched on a succession of wooden benches, listen in as the tales are told.
And at the very end, there’s an additional surprise which I won’t reveal here.
My face ached from smiling.
While I thought I was seeing the last performance, I just found out that they’ve extended the run until 11th April. So if you’re within reach of London and a fan of fairytales, I couldn’t recommend this more.