Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rumplestiltskin -Review- Northern Stage

Northern Stage – Wednesday 25th October 2017
Performed by- balletLORENT 

Now I’m not the biggest fan of ballet, nor am I of Carol Anne Duffy, whose poems were one of the reasons that I failed English at GCSE (twice) , but enough about me, how was the show I hear you ask.

This version by balletLORENT, a Newcastle based company, give Rumpelstiltskin a back story which was great and it made the storyline better for the many kids in the audience.

In the original story he just appears out of nowhere but in this story you find out more about him and how his mother (played by Maria Vincentelli) had died during childbirth leaving his father the king (played by John Kendall) to bring him up. Unfortunately he is too grief stricken to do that and banishes Rumplestiltskin out of the courts so he goes and lives in the land.

He is played firstly by Thomas Ryser – Welch (young) and Gavin Coward (older) who falls in love with a young shepherd daughter played by Amelia Bell (young) and Natalie Trewinnard (older) but they drift apart until the original story picks him up where we find he’s a bit of an outsider.

The shepherd, played by Toby Fitzgerald, puts his daughter in a situation that means her and Rumplestiltskin are brought back together as Rumplestiltskin has a gift thanks to his mother watching over him…….he turns things into gold!

Then both stories merge into one as Rumplestiltskin helps the shepherd's daughter make straw into gold in exchange for her ring, then a kiss and then her child (which is his half brother)

She doesn’t want to give her baby to him so he gives her the opportunity to keep her child if she can guess what Rumplestiltskin’s name is...
Does she?  Of course she does! 
There is a twist in the tale but I won’t tell you what it is, you will have to go and see the show.

This local company has also had local people in the show such as the ladies from I believe the Knit and Natter group from Cornerstone in Benwell (where my dad worked many moons ago) so hats off to Sylvia Wood, Pat Horsefield, Ann Mead and Irene Scaife. 
Also the little people on stage from different schools in the Newcastle area,  so well done to Thomas Harrison, Bobby James Gray, Maddison Palmer, Harlow Jamieson, Kyara Furtado, Jasmine Valentina Mamuini, Emilia Crompton and Otto Ritchie with Understudies Michael Rance and Cameron Earl.

The Ensemble of Debbi Purtill, Gwen Berwick, Juliet Thompson, Raymond Roa and Benedicta Valentina did a great job mixing both the professional dancers and the local people on stage and made the story flow.

Ben Crompton,who was in Game of Thrones,  was the Narrator and Dramaturg for the piece. The set was designed really well and used some great visual aspects, designer Phil Eddoles created a fantastic set.
The lighting complimented everything and was designed by Malcolm Rippeth and Michael Morgan.
Composer Murray Gold did a great job with the music, but credit has to go to Michelle Clapton who designed the costumes and I know which costumes people thought were the best, THE SHEEP!

Everyone loved the sheep and I for a moment thought they were real.

Liv Lorent and Caroline Reece did a great job and the movement was fantastic but at times there was too much going on so you don’t know where to look.

This is a great show that is perfect for all the family with great dance which retells a classic story bringing it to life for a whole new generation. 

Well done everyone involved,  even Carol Ann Duffy.

Reuben Hiles

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