The Pantaloons theatre company bring their darkly magical open-air production of Grimm Fairy Tales – a new adaptation of some of the best-loved stories ever to have graced the stage – to Chepstow Castle on Tuesday July 17.
The Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm, collected and published German folk tales in the first half of the 19th century. They are responsible for the popularity of some of the best-loved fairy tales of all time, including Hansel and Gretel, The Frog Prince, Rumpelstiltskin, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood.
Yet it is often forgotten that the Grimm versions of all these tales are, well, a little grimmer than you might expect. The frog prince is thrown against a wall, the ugly sisters’ eyes are pecked out by a vengeful wishing-bird and witches generally come to very grisly ends. In the hands of The Panta-loons, these tales are often also more hilariously funny than they have ever been.
For this story-telling extravaganza, Jacob and Wilhelm are joined by Ferdinand, the lesser-known third Grimm brother (who doesn’t know how to tell a story) and the Wild sisters, who were the Grimms’ neighbours and also the source of many of the tales.
With a cast of just five actors playing more than a hundred parts, audiences can expect plenty of fast-changes, cross-dressing, comedy-wigs and silly-walks.
This is the first year The Pantaloons will appear at Chepstow Castle. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be coming to such a beautiful location as Chepstow,” says Mark Hayward, producer, “it’s the perfect setting for this magical show.”
Grimm Fairy Tales is suitable for all ages, but very small children should be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets are priced £8-£14.50 and are available by contacting the box office on 01291 625 981.