"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair". Classic lines from a classic fairly tale that many of us will remember from our childhood. BalletLORENT were already on solid ground staging a piece of work based on such a well known fairly tale which many in the audience could readily identify with, but this was more than just a re-telling of a fairy tale.
This version of Rapunzel is a bold and imaginative piece of work that at times had a bit of a Tim Burton "The Nightmare Before Christmas" look to it. Everything in this piece of work - choreography (Liv Lorent and the company), Set design (Phil Eddols), Costume Design (Michele Clapton), Lighting (Malcolm Rippeth), Narration (Lesley Sharp) and of course the dancers (including the children) just seemed to all work perfectly tonight. To single any one performance out would be unfair as all the main roles were beautifully played - Natalie Trewinnard (Rapunzel), Caroline Reece (witch), Debbie Purtill (wife), Mariusz Raczynski (husband) and Gavin Coward (Prince). Having the Withch at times glide across the stage (on roller skates) was a nice touch that really worked and made her look even more sinister.
Wonderful as all the dancers were tonight, they were helped greatly by a very gifted set and lighting design team that somehow created a world on stage just slightly out of your normal expectations and pulled you right into a dream / fairly tale world.
There are some lovely twists in this adaption of Rapunzel . Sadly, by the time this review is written, BalletLORENT will have finished their short two date trip to the Festival Theatre (that is the only fault with this performance, they are not here long enough), but if you get a chance to see this worked being performed anywhere near you in the future just go and see it. This is just one of those rare magical moments to the theatre where everything just works perfectly and as an audience you get taken to another place for the duration of the performance. That in the end is the magic of theatre. Theatre can take you into a another world in a way that no other performance media can.
Review by Tom King