Friday, December 21, 2012

'Rapunzel' by Lea Pryer

21 December 2012

It was a delight to return to the TADS Theatre in Toddington last Saturday to see this year’s TADS pantomime. ‘Rapunzel’ was written and directed by Lea Pryer, who wrote the wonderful 2010 pantomime ‘The Pirate Princess’ (reviewed here in December 2010). ‘Rapunzel’ was another original script which incorporated the conventional pantomime elements. I particularly loved Rapunzel’s tower and the use of puppetry to show the prince climbing up on Rapunzel’s long hair which was hilarious. Mike Collins, who stood out as a mercurcial Irish Puck in the TADS production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (reviewed here in May 2012) was very strong as Prince Edward. The wonderful youngster Harry Rodgers (who was Flute in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’) confirmed his graduation from TADS Teens, taking his place next to regular Janet Bray as one of the two gargoyle henchmen of the enchantress Griselda. As Griselda Rachel Birks stole the show with a commanding performance, a fantastic sneer of contempt for the audience and a nice line in heckle put-downs as she battled with a completely sold-out, largely adult audience. Rachel Birks and Chloe Palmer, who played Rapunzel, have particularly strong singing voices and the success of the musical numbers bodes well for the forthcoming TADS production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

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