This year's Christmas show from our amazing Creation Theatre is the splendid Snow White and Other Tales from the Brothers Grimm. Written and directed by Gari Jones, there's lots of typical Creation inventiveness and wit in the script and it's delivered with surgical timing and tons of enthusiasm by the excessively talented cast of six. Playing multiple roles and energetically singing and dancing, they lead us through the Snow White narrative with yet more stories enfolded within like a matryoshka doll. So, Snow White tells the seven dwarves about Hansel and Gretel, and that yarn has within it the tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the hungry wolf. Her wicked stepmother tries to murder Snow White (attempting death by corset), but the dwarves revive her and are rewarded with further stories. This cycle repeats as each further assassination attempt fails, the stepmother trying desperately to be her magic mirror's number one pick as the "fairest of them all."
Some of the Grimm stories are well-known, but some are less recognisable. Whilst they may be familiar, the telling of all of them is certainly original. The players don't fall thoughtlessly into the usual pantomime clichés so the show keeps it's freshness throughout. I particularly like the ways they presented Rumpelstiltskin and the wolf-eating granny. As Lucy Askew, Creation's Chief Executive says, "It's not Disney and it's not grim." In fact it reminds me of the wonderful shows that Creation used to put on in the Speigel Tent in the BMW car park, although this time sadly there are no crepesbeing sold in the interval but it is much warmer. The audience is seated cabaret-style deep in the forest surrounding the raised stage, which has so many trapdoors that it's like a horizontal advent calendar. Ashley Bale's excellent lighting and the brilliant music by Gareth Jones help to complete the forest atmosphere.
A nice touch, and typical Creation, is to have four youngsters from Creation's Drama Club as the Youth Chorus. They take turns in three teams; we had Team A: Leila, Matilda, Sam and Siana, and they were very professional in their performances. I imagine that members of the audience of the same ages would have loved to be in their well-crafted costume shoes.
In summary: this is a first-class Christmas show and highly recommended!