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When you think of Rapunzels hair, its unlikely that black

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When you think of Rapunzels hair, its unlikely that black Powered By Docstoc
					The Metro, 02/01/2008
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When you think of Rapunzel’s hair, it’s unlikely that black dreadlocks spring to mind.
But that’s what Kneehigh theatre company has opted for in this revival of its very
human reworking of the Brothers Grimm tale, first seen last year at Battersea Arts
Centre.
In fact, all the glossy fairy tale puff is replaced with gritty, witty characters that look
as real as they sound. The magic, however, remains. It comes in panto-style with a
cross-dressing Mother Gothel, villainous comedy characters and plenty of audience
participation.
The story itself, by Annie Siddons, is based on the Grimms’ original but is influenced
by the vivid worlds of Italo Calvino and the 16th-centruy Neapolitan fairy tale writer
Giambattista Basile. As a consequence the action involves some fairly gripping
drama. The passion between the Prince and Rapunzel (Edith Tankus, pictured) is
physically graphic as they kiss and sing, while the Prince’s eyes get pokes out with
scissors and eaten by Mother Gothel. It’s hands-over-eyes stuff but it works
brilliantly, keeping the adults as enthralled as the slack-jawed children.
Director Emma Rice’s decision to make the mechanics of theatre part of the show
(with the audience seated in the round and costume and set changes visible) is a
Kneehigh trademark, and here serves to make this soulful storytelling richer. It’s a
little on the long side, with long drawn-out action scenes too flabby. But the overall
effect compensates admirably.

				
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Description: When you think of Rapunzels hair, its unlikely that black