Great Grimm Tales (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Great Grimm Tales

Lively recollection of the fairy tale masters

The power of stories is a consistent theme at the Fringe: Great Grimm Tales takes a selection of the brothers' macabre fairy tales and, with a cast of three and a few puppets, conjures dark European nights, haunted churchyards and symbolic adventures in which the devil is always threatening but never victorious. Old Nick keeps turning up, and is repeatedly vanquished, ensuring that the atmosphere of horror dissipates like ghosts in the dawn's light.

While the weaving of the tales is elegant, and builds nicely towards a climax, the tales themselves are predictable. There is plenty of torture and horror, but virtue is both its own reward and the ultimate victor. The ensemble inhabits a variety of roles, with the devil himself given a sly, deceptive charm: the heroes of each story, however, follow a pattern of naïve goodness and the complexities of the fairy tale are reduced to the unfolding of a mythic pattern.

Yet Box Tale Soup are confident in presenting well-paced and appropriately sinister stories, bringing a subtle modern sensibility to Grimm that never quite explores their contemporary relevance. Stories themselves are a key component of the arsenal of the heroes, and the strength of the show remains in the plotting.

Underbelly Cowgate, until 25 Aug, 11am, £10–£11 (£9–£10).

Great Grimm Tales

  • 3 stars

Box Tale Soup 'Three nights to save a soul… or the Devil gets his way.' A desperate man… A last-ditch deal… Some stories never die, and for you the night is just beginning… From the creators of 2018 official sell-out Turn of the Screw, comes a remarkable new adaptation of Grimm's most delicious tales. Join us for the…