A Golden performance at the Criterion

400Is making a deal with the devil such a bad decision? Taking the risk of exchanging your unborn child for a favour that will save your life?

The Criterion’s December performance of “Rumpelstiltskin” saw the premiere amateur performance of the musical adaptation of the famous Grimm’s Tale commissioned by the egg, Theatre Royal Bath in 2014.

This cast of four treated the audience to an exciting and thoroughly entertaining performance that had the audience laughing.

A simple and loving father, the Miller has the opportunity to meet with the King of the land and in the attempt to secure his daughter a job in the Royal Palace, he over exaggerates his daughter’s abilities with the use of metaphor that is unfortunately misinterpreted, leading the King to believe Emily possesses the ability to spin straw into gold.

This leaves Emily in the predicament of either finding a way to make gold out of straw or losing her life. In the depths of despair she is visited by a mysterious and magical being, Rumpelstiltskin, who repeatedly saves Emily’s life but at a high price.

Emily is forced to promise her future offspring to Rumpelstiltskin and when she later marries the King and gives birth to a daughter, Emily along with the King and her father must enter into a challenge to keep her child, by guessing the cryptic Rumpelstiltskin’s name.

This performance of Rumpelstiltskin could at first be mistakenly dismissed as a family performance only but it was surprisingly enjoyable for every age. It touches on the power of family relationships through the trio’s struggle to keep the child and is not short of humour with especially amusing audience interaction.

The acting is of high quality with Sean Glock performing a starring transformative role of an over-indulged King whose falling in love changes his personality and pompous beliefs.

Nicole Cortese charms the audience with her character’s idealistic attitude for a better society and notably in several scenes delivers an impressive amount of names in attempt to try to solve the mystery of Rumpelstiltskin’s identity.

The depiction of Rumpelstiltskin – played here by a woman (Lucy Hayton) – is a modern and interesting twist on the normal characterisation of the role and not to leave out the Miller (Ed Young) whose clumsy haphazard ways had the audience laughing throughout the production.

A brilliant polished performance with exciting sets and props a great winter show to end the year.