This devised promenade performance of Brother Grimm stories takes place around Deptford High Street, fitting around the premise of the audience hunting for stories with a happy ending. It is not as straight forward as it sounds as the Grimm stories have been adapted and told from a completely different perspective than the classic version, written by Michael Wagg. The Little Red Riding Hood is told by the skinned wolf from his perspective, sharing his fondness for food, naturally. Cinderella is told by the socially ambitious stepsister, now a proprietor of a posh deli, doing her part in gentrifying the local area. Best of all is the frog who is desperate to turn into a prince, after one of his mate managed to do so. This part is absolutely hilarious. In his bid to be a prince, the frog tried to slam itself against the wall, culminating in the audience beating him with sponges on strings. Ingenious.
The fresh take on the classics, combining references to the local area is well done. Directed by Sophie Austin, the promenade aspect of the show is organised with minimal downtime in between sites. Naturally, there are more successful stories than others and the loose setup of the audience being a group of story hunters that is better suited for a group of school children. But the exchanges between the cast and the audience works well. When asked to recall parts of the story, there is never short of volunteers. Above all, the performance of Sarah Finigan is outstanding, for both the step sister and the frog. There will hardly be more different roles, pretty much following straight from one to another. A word of warning, as the audience is split into two groups, only the Bibliophiles get to see her performance.
Credit to Teatro Vivo, this is a great example of how to stage a promenade performance and adapting Brother Grimm stories.