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Philip Pullman
Unicorn Theatre and Illuminations

Le Gateau Chocolat Credit: Unicorn Theatre

This is the first of what Unicorn describe as “deliciously gruesome theatrical readings from Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales, re-told for the whole family.” Each one begins with a shed shrouded in mist inside which warm lamplight and shelves filled with all kinds of objects to create a cosy and magical atmosphere for storytelling.

This story of a girl who has to spin straw into gold is a delightfully animated reading by Le Gateau Chocolat that gives Rumpelstiltskin an African accent and, illustrating the story and appropriately for this colourful storyteller, has its own golden sparkle.

It lasts only ten minutes (the shortest of these presentations) but, directed by Rachel Bagshaw with Charlotte Espiner’s design and a musical backing by Jon McLeod that adds to the drama, it packs real excitement as Le Gateau seems to make direct eye contact and draw the viewer into his story.

Reviewer: Howard Loxton