Review: Insane Root Theatre’s Rumplestiltskin

Original review for the Reviews Hub

Insane Root Rumplestiltskin

Turning an oft-told yarn into staged gold

Once upon a cold, dark evening, in a city that looks and feels far, far away from a fairy story – although not too far from the stone vestiges of a castle dating from the age of William the Conqueror – Insane Root Theatre are turning an oft-told yarn into staged gold.  

The peculiar tale of an elf-like sprite that turns straw into gold for a poor, desperate girl whose father has pledged a great deal more than she can deliver to a despotic king, Rumplestiltskin is an odd pick for these experts in Shakespearean texts in strange places to adapt. Yet, with their exceptional eye for space and playwright Matt Grinter’s exquisitely crafted script, it is an exciting adaptation that fills the unexpectedly fitting setting of John Wesley’s Chapel with wonder and delight.

From the skilful prologue that evokes the scuttling of legs and fluttering of feathers with its lyrical, evocative language to the final trick, Grinter’s script is elegant and playful in its originality, entangling and unpicking language itself until it, and the tale, feels as spanking and finely wrought as the spun gold.

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