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Beasts & Beauties: Canterbury Times Review

"All the cast work at full steam to ignite your imagination."

Original Article by Scarlet Jones, Canterbury Times - Friday 27 September 2013


With panto season not quite upon us, the more cynical-minded would suspect any productions appearing on stage now are mere space fillers until Aladdin, Buttons, ugly sisters et al arrive to brighten our day.

So it was with a curious fascination that I attended the latest offering from the Lindley Players on Thursday (September 26).

Beasts and Beauties is a collection of eight well-known fairy tales, which was first adapted by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and dramatized by Tim Supple and Melly Still.

The tales are taken from all over Europe and range from the very funny Emperor’s New Clothes, to the rather terrifying story of Blue Beard, and the grisly tale of The Juniper Tree in which a stepmother kills and cooks her stepson.

Fairy tales were once seen as being more than about sugary-sweet ‘happy every afters’ and this beguiling production harks back to that time. There are a lot of levels, from slapstick to satire, from heart-warming to spine-tingling and yet throughout it maintains that enchanted, wondrous feeling you should get from fairy tales.

Produced by Cheryl Mumford, it is bound together with two clown-like characters who are reading the tales as the audience observes. Superbly cast, their playful antics and circus skills in between the tales are a joy to watch. All of the cast work at full steam to ignite your imagination and the energy – even in the quiet moments – is always there. There are smooth transitions between scenes, and the music and special effects are well-placed and complement the action on stage.

Anyone in doubt as to whether this is their bag should give it a go. Nobody is ever too old or too cynical for fairy tales when they are presented like this.

Beasts and Beauties at Playhouse Theatre Whitstable

September 25 to 28, 7.45pm

Box office 01227 272042 or visit