As the nights draw in and Halloween draws closer, turn the lights down low, gather around the (virtual) fire and let the Unicorn Theatre’s exceptional cast and creatives spin you a Grimm story…

The door of a little wooden hut, lit by moonlight, creaks open to reveal a lone storyteller, lit only by a lamp’s glow. Curtains flutter, strange things appear and disappear, rain pitter-patters, lights go out… and the familiar and the strange come alive. These are fairy tales, but not as you know them.

The Unicorn Theatre, a true gem in the UK’s theatrical crown for younger people (producing work for children so good – even the adults go home raving about it), first produced Philip Pullman’s adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, Grimm Tales, in the Winter of 2018. This is not a digital staging of that well-received production, but instead, a magical, theatrical reading of a selection of six of the Grimms’ stories told in Philip Pullman’s visual, lively and occasionally gory prose. Each director uses the digital platform to enhance their telling to magical effect, suiting the content to the online platform for at-home audiences of 8-12s (and transfixed adults, to boot!).

“A selection of spooky bed-time treats, perfect in the run-up to Halloween…”

More than most, children have suffered a lack of direct engagement through the pandemic but the Unicorn have not forgotten them. Their talented and diverse pool of cast and creatives speak directly to their audiences (eye contact is imperative!) making latching on easier. We have all surely experienced digital fatigue at some point by now, children included, but this series of six allows for morsels of quality storytelling that hold the attention and expand the imagination. A selection of spooky bed-time treats maybe, perfect in the run-up to Halloween…

Continue reading on Theatre Weekly, below…

Review: Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales from Unicorn Theatre (Online)


Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales are available to watch on The Unicorn Theatre’s YouTube Channel.


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