The famous Brothers Grimm need your help on the streets of Deptford. Albany Associate Artists, Teatro Vivo, took us on a storytelling adventure through SE8, with a promenade performance piece right in the heart of the local community. We met a witch lost in the street, a wicked stepmother in a café and even ended up in a hairdressers — the staff still weaving their own magic (literally), as the drama unfolded around them.
This is highly accessible promenade theatre, with plenty of opportunities to get involved. The actors are all extremely approachable, which encourages everyone to chip in and become part of the story, creating a lovely sense of us all being together on a quest. Some stories are more enthralling than others, with notable stand-out performances by the Prince of Deptford and the Wicked Stepmother. It can be hard to keep a crowd of Londoners’ attention at the best of times, let alone in the open air of a bustling London high street — but on the whole, we were captivated and enthralled, excited to find out where we’d end up next.
Perhaps unusually for a piece of theatre, a lot of these stories don’t reach any dramatic conclusion — they’re more tasters of stories, snapshots of fairytales interwoven with the real world, much as you might catch five seconds of the conversation the woman sitting next to you on the bus is having with her ex. But they give a lovely feeling of there being magic all around us.
The Hunters Grimm is a fun, enjoyable night out — especially recommended for anyone with an active imagination, or for young families. But maybe not too young — there are dark stories of possible executions and amputations, although they're never threatening. The younger members of the group just giggled. It could do with a bit of polish but this is raw, inventive theatre with a sense of fun and lots of heart. It’s well worth a try if you’re new to the promenade genre. Or if you fancy seeing Deptford in a very different light...
Until 8 November at The Albany. Tickets £12/£10/£8. Londonist saw this performance on a complimentary ticket.