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Camden Fringe: Charming – A Farcical Fairy Tale, The Pirate Castle

Part of the Camden Fringe 2013
Ross Howard 
Presented by No Bones About
★★★

Pros: Watching the familiar characters from fairy tales cause knee-slapping mayhem on stage.

Cons: At times the scenes were extended for too long and the play lost its grip on the audience.

Our Verdict: A dynamic and witty reinterpretation of favorite fairy tales.

Courtesy of Facebook.com

Charming – A Farcical Fairy Tale, presented by the company No Bones About, lets us into the world of the five charming princes from our childhood stories. We all know what happens to the princesses: the Fairy Godmother helps Cinderella get to the ball; Rapunzel is locked in the tower; Snow White bites the poisoned apple. But have you ever wondered what’s going on inside the princes’ heads while all of this develops? Do they even want a happily ever after, or are they simply looking for a way to get royal marriage out of the way? This unconventional fairy tale recounts the true intentions of five cocky, swaggering and of course charming young men. Will they manage to hold on to their ending, or will the stories get tangled and errupt into mayhem?

The plot revolves around the five Prince Charming brothers, played by Ross Howard, Christie Grattan, Matthew Winters, Oscar Balfour and Ross Virgo. The Charming bunch has decided through a bet that the first one of them to marry shall become king. The princes from the stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty must hurry if they want to win the throne.

The plot was both entertaining and ingenious. We’ve all wondered how these traditional stories can be translated for today’s time and Charming – A Farcical Fairy Tale fits the bill. The princes are everything we expect from the original tales, but dressed with today’s themes. William Charming from Rapunzel is a little bi-curious; his younger brother Simon Charming is desperate to get a girl and Sleeping Beauty is, well, sleeping. The princes get involved in all sorts of hilariously nonsensical trouble trying to get to the throne first. And their princesses are not exactly sweet and innocent: Snow White, played by Rhian Jenkins, is a political activist, who loves kebabs and considers marriage a form of subjugation. Mayhem breaks out on stage in the form of negotiations, jokes and proposals, brought to life by the groups’ charismatic acting. Best bits for me: Rapunzel taking off her massive gold hoops to tackle the Welsh SnowWhite for snatching her Prince, and Oscar Balfours’ performance as both the Beast and William Charming’s love interest Rumpeltiskin. The Pirate Castle in Camden provided the perfect setting for this easygoing performance.

Charming – A Farcical Fairy Tale is an uproarious reincarnation of five traditional bedtime stories that will have you cracking up from the second you enter the theatre. 

Seen the show yourself? Agree or disagree? Submit your own review with our Camden Fringe Big Audience Project! 
 
Charming – A Farcical Fairy Tale ran for three days 20th to 23rd August 2013 as part of Camden Fringe at The Pirate Castle.

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