It wouldn’t be a Fringe Festival without a retelling of one of The Grimm’s Brother’s fairy tales and that’s what the Manotik Arts Camp does with Hansel & Gretel in Grimmest Tales, Past and Present.
Should you see it?
Grimmest Tales, Past and Present brings a large cast of talented teenagers together to stage this folksy retelling of one of the most famous fairy tales of all time, but it has a bit of a twist. Hansel & Gretel is a story we all know and have heard many times, so I was surprised when the script spent the entirety of its time following Hansel & Gretel as they get lost in the forest up until they find themselves at the house made of candy, and then has a narrator close the story off with a quick paragraph about meeting a witch, killing her and going back home. The End.
It was abrupt and anticlimactic, but wasn’t a fatal flaw in this show. The show itself uses many clever conventions to utilize such a large cast, and the cast were on their toes. They knew their lines, they knew their cues, and they knew the fast pacing in which it needed to be delivered. These kids can sing, dance and act and it’s evident that many of them definitely have a place on the stage in the future.
The two biggest flaws that came out of this show was the live music, which was way too loud and overpowered the actor’s voices. This show is in a church multipurpose room with horrible echoes, so the music takes off and muddies out everything else. The second flaw is that the show, which is pegged at running 45 minutes only runs 20 minutes, is a 20 minute Fringe show worth $10? Well maybe if you want to scout out the talent of the future!
If you do choose to take in this show make sure you arrive very early. There are only 40 seats for this venue and by the time I arrived with 15 minutes before show time it was practically sold out.
What did you think of Grimmest Tales, Past and Present? What is your favourite Grimm fairy tale? Let me know what you thought in the comments.
For more information on Grimmest Tales, Past and Present, including show times and how to buy advance tickets, visit their show page on http://ottawafringe.com/tickets/grimmest-tales-past-and-present/