Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom

This article is from 2009

Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom

Audience rapport and surprises galore from Theatre of Widdershins

Finding a new way to tell an old tale isn’t easy, but if ever there was a man for the job, it’s Andy Lawrence. The former BBC designer turned puppeteer has enjoyed three sell-out Fringe shows with his company Theatre of Widdershins. And this year’s offering – the superbly titled Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom – looks set to do the same. Much of Lawrence’s success can be attributed to his surprise-laden sets. With each door or box that opens, revealing yet another exciting object or character, it becomes increasingly obvious that this show wasn’t thrown together over a weekend. ‘I hate compromising, so creating the shows does take a while,’ he confirms. ‘From original sketches to final rehearsal takes about 110 days, and making the puppets and sets is 80% of that.’

Set design aside, Lawrence’s other talent is audience rapport. Regardless of your age, he makes you feel he’s performing just for you. ‘I really enjoy it when families watch our shows, so we try to put in different elements for everyone: cute puppets and funny voices for the young, a touch of technology for older children and some bad puns for parents. But mainly, it’s an easy-to-follow story for everyone.’

Scottish Storytelling Centre, High Street, 0131 556 9579, 7–30 Aug (not 10, 17, 24), 11am, £7.50 (£5).

Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom

Bad hair day? Pity Rapunzel: a mad witch climbing her locks every day. Ouch! Grimm tale returns to its dark roots. 'Very wonderful, beautiful puppets' - ★★★★★ (The List). 'Fantastic' - ★★★★★ (ThreeWeeks). Sell-out 2007/2008.

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