Writer: Mike Kenny
Music: Chris Mellor
Director: Wendy Harris
Reviewer: Esther Dyson
The Public Reviews Rating:
Tutti Frutti is a well established theatre company that perform new adaptations to children’s books, they perform over 200 performance a year in venues across the country including primary schools. This week at the York Theatre Royal they bring to the stage an original adaptation of the well known story of Rapunzel. Rapunzel is brought up by her Nan who is afraid for her to go out into the world and thinks the best way to protect her is to keep her away from everyone, locked in a tower.
Through the use of mime, music and dance the cast of three perform with high energy, all helping to tell the story. Gayle Newbolt is Rapunzel, Selina Zaza is the Nan and Max Gallagher is Rafi.
The story begins with Rapunzel as a newborn baby and follows her through each year of her life. The most well known aspect of the story is that as she grows her hair grows, so long that it reaches the floor from her window. As Rapunzel grows she gets more and more curious about the outside world and strikes up a friendship with Rafi, a boy she sees playing near the tower. He climbs up her hair to play with her when her Nan is out. At first she keeps him a secret from her Nan, but as her friendship with Rafi makes her even more curious about the outside world he tells her about she decides that she is going to go and see the world for herself. Her Nan is reluctant for Rapunzel to leave as she fears she won’t return just like Rapunzel’s mother.
Tutti Fruitti certainly know how to capture the attention of children. A simple moon ball that is lit and dangled from a stick close to the audience is very well received each time it appears.
This use of simple props throughout the play helps the children to make use of their own imagination, the company prove that there is no need for complicated detail when children are involved. A beautiful example of this is when Rapunzel lifts down a birdcage and through mime and sound effects catches a bird and places it in the cage, once it’s stopped singing, she releases it. Not once did anyone in the audience doubt that the bird was not there.
Tutti Fruitti’s Rapunzel is charming and imaginative, it’s not an education piece, it is purely entertainment, with the soul intention of getting children to enjoy live theatre using a classic tale. Judging by the captivated faces of a theatre full of school children, it certainly does that!