Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Rapunzel

Citizen's Theatre, Glasgow
Four stars

Flowers grow wherever Rapunzel goes in Annie Siddons' hippified take on the Brothers Grimm's classic tale. From the day this sparkiest and spikiest of young heroines is abandoned in the woods, life blooms around her. It's a good job, then, that she's taken in by Mother Gothel's tribe of herbalists, whose handiness with exotic tinctures rubs off on their adopted daughter.

Once Rapunzel hits puberty, however, Gothel morphs into a jealous sociopath who locks her up in a tower where Rapunzel's already voluminous locks grow into a curtain that hides her from the world. Not that this matters to Rapunzel, who, in her dungarees, geek girl specs and buffed red Doc Marten boots, is more than capable of wrestling soppy Prince Patrizio to the ground when he comes calling. The adventure that follows is a walk on the wild side for them both in Lu Kemp's production, which becomes a psychologist's paradise as Wendy Seager's Gothel takes an increasingly grotesque turn.

Peter Collins is the ultimate scallywag as cartoon villain Ambrosi, with much fun to be had elsewhere with limp Italian sausages in need of rejuvenation and ruby rings delivered in a parcel of wild boar droppings. Jessica Hardwick's Rapunzel is a beacon of light through all this, even as her hormones get the better of her en route to true love.

With many of the cast doubling up as the show's live band, Michael John McCarthy's score is powered along by Cat Myers, drummer with Glasgow-based alt-rock duo, Honeyblood. In this respect, Siddons and Kemp's take on things resembles an old-school rock and roll based fringe theatre show designed for adolescents of all ages.

The Herald, December 8th 2015

ends

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