All-Singing, All-Dancing Rumpelstiltskin Rocks Southbank Centre

Rumpelstiltskin, Southbank Centre ★★★★☆

By Alice Grahame Last edited 66 months ago

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Last Updated 21 December 2018

All-Singing, All-Dancing Rumpelstiltskin Rocks Southbank Centre Rumpelstiltskin, Southbank Centre 4
Photo: The Other Richard

The brutalist grandeur of the Queen Elizabeth Hall is filled with the high pitched giggles of excitable children, caused by this brash and very loud retelling of one of the best-known fairy-tales, Rumpelstiltskin.

The eponymous lead is a part-goblin couture designer: wealthy but unattractive. His adversary, shallow fashion wannabe Harriet is undone by her own greed in a morality tale that speaks to both children and adults.

Photo: The Other Richard

The cast of seven includes some seriously talented cabaret stars. Paul Capsis is a scarily energetic Rumpelstiltskin, and delivers some powerful solos and expressive dance moves. Michaela Burger literally sparkles as Tootie, and Ezra Juanta surprises everyone with an astounding show-stopping conclusion to the show.

The characters make a big impression on the eye thanks to some gaudy Ab-Fab power-dressing and breathtaking costume changes. Rumpelstiltskin himself sports a black and white striped tailored onesie, wooden chignon and pointy ears –part Mikado, part pantomime dame, part Spock.

Photo: The Other Richard

The play’s strength lies partly in its technical ingenuity. The set has hardly any scenery. Instead, clever animation by Chris Edser creates a film-like experience that recalls Warner Brothers’ Loony Tunes cartoons, and 1950s pop-art opening title sequences.

Composer Jethro Woodward’s music encompasses guitar rock, power ballads and funky dance rhythms. The loud music, sharp choreography and bold visuals make Rumpelstiltskin a big fun family experience.  

Rumpelstiltskin, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX, Tickets £15-£40, until 6 January 2019.