BWW Review: RAPUNZEL, Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
Locked away in her tower, Rapunzel spends her days dreaming of the outside world. Her wicked mother (Helen McAlpine) tells her that the people outside are bad and that the only place she is safe is in the tower. Rapunzel has no idea that this woman is not actually her mother, and infact stole her as a baby because of the magical properties of her long hair which she has been exploiting for years.
Rapunzel's real mother is Dolly Mixture, a woman who runs the local hairdressing salon- Scissors of Maws. Along with her dimwitted son Tenpee, Dolly sets off to rescue Rapunzel and tell her where she really came from.
Dolly Mixture is played by Johnny McKnight who is also the writer and director of the show. Robert Jack takes on the role of Tenpee and the two work so well as a double act. McKnight's audience interaction is scathing and unfortunately, something I fell victim to when he sniffed my drink, suggested that I had smuggled in a 'magic handbag' and advised the rest of the audience to keep naked flames away from me.
The whole cast is clearly having a ball onstage and that's what makes this pantomime so special. The songs used are a mix of modern pop and hits from the last two decades (Rapunzel has been locked away for twenty years so needs a crash course in what she's missed) and musical theatre nerds will be delighted to hear the addition of "Waving Through A Window" and "You Will Be Found" from Dear Evan Hansen.
The costumes are outstanding- particularly for Dolly. Alison Brown's costume design goes so far beyond traditional panto dame and has created looks that any drag show would be proud of. The script is up to the minute with pop culture and political references from the last couple of days.
Rapunzel will be adored by children but it will also provide a refreshing change from traditional panto for the adults as there is so much in it for them.
Rapunzel is at the MacRobert Arts Centre until 31 December.