REVIEWED: Rumpelstiltskin and the Wheel of Fortune at South Street
It's not the first time Andy Lawrence of the Theatre of Widdershins has brought his props and puppets to Reading and judging by this latest production it won't be the last.
Mr Lawrence is totally in control in this one-man-and-many-puppet version of Rumpelstiltskin.
He also has to adlib when the show is slightly delayed by late arrivals and he goes round re-christening the audience with names like "Leon leopard liker".
One of the best things about the Theatre of Widdershins is the props. In this case bales of straw are magically transformed into things such as a pub and a spinning wheel, before being quickly folded away.
But perhaps the most impressive transformation is when a big black crow changes into the eccentric dwarf Rumpelstiltskin.
After beautiful Polly Buckwheat's drunken dad boasts in the pub that his daughter, Polly, can spin straw into gold, not surprisingly the greedy king wants to marry her. And he wants the gold too.
Poor Polly has to turn to Rumpelstiltskin for help and the price is increasingly dear - first a tear, then a kiss and finally her first-born child. The only thing that can save the boy is if Polly can guess the dwarf's unusual name within three days.
It's a good job the ever vigilant Sir Lancelot is around to help; otherwise some of the young punters may have gone home unhappy.
For fans of the Theatre of Widdershins the next holidays can't come round quickly enough.
This article appeared in Bracknell News 22 Feb 13