Review: Fables and Fairytales, Bridlington Spa

Cast of Fables and Fairytales at Bridlington Spa
Cast of Fables and Fairytales at Bridlington Spa

Once upon a time a theatre critic went to see a show and could not find anything negative to say ... and believe me she looked.

This is fiendishly clever and devilishy dark, witty and waspish stuff.

Its plots come from fairytales ranging from Jack and the Beanstalk and The Three Little Pigs to Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella and from Rapunzel to Red Riding Hood.

Music cues come from Chicago, Into the Woods, Wicked and Frozen - Gilbert and Sullivan and Lady Ga Ga but this is not a juke box mega mix. There is a mix of styles, a range of pace and mood swings.

Black humour meets sly satire and panto slapstick crosses swords with drama. There is also a Joyce Grenfell-style monologue from Andrea Miller to open the second act.

In some cases the words of the songs have been re-written to fit the fables and fairytales theme. This worked fantastically well in Spell Block Tango – a new take on He Had It Coming from Chicago.

Also a stand-out moment is Strictly Cinderella – the rags to riches fairytale told as an edition of Strictly Come Dancing with a hilarious impression of its host Claudia Winkleman from Alan Richardson.

A Bridlington fable has been specially written and is told using puppets – it’s clever and there’s a sting in the tale.

A personal favourite was The Fablings – A Fabled Vaudeville Act – straight from the home of variety. I love music hall – so this song and dance routine of the ‘kindly leave the stage’ model was right up my street.

Keeping it right up to date is the penultimate number which mixes Defying Gravity, Let it Be and a Piece of Sky.

The seven-strong cast are superb and are supported by youngsters from Collette Tyler School of Dance.

The production values – from the stunning set which mixes the modern and old-fashioned to the colourful costumes – are of the highest standard.

This show is a seaside summer show which has music, dance, comedy and variety – but not necessarily packaged as we know it.

And after the Megamix finale – in which refrains of the songs are all sung again – we all left happily ever after.

Fables and Fairytales is at the Spa, Bridlington, every Wednesday and Thursday until September 3. Performances at 7.30pm.

Box office: 01262 678258

By Sue Wilkinson