A brand new, musical version of the much-loved Grimm Brothers’ story Rumpelstiltskin opens at Bath’s children’s theatre this Christmas. Recommended for audiences aged 7 years and over, the family show will run in the egg theatre at the Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday 27th November to Sunday 4th January.
The Miller’s daughter is a feisty, funny heroine with a formidable challenge before her. When her father makes a foolish boast to the king, the poor girl finds herself in a room filled with straw which she must spin into gold by morning. What a stroke of luck when a stranger appears promising to complete the task for her, in return for the gift of her jewellery. However, as time passes, with no more jewellery to give him, it looks like she will be forced to part with the treasure which she loves most of all – unless, of course, she can guess his name.
This captivating tale of loose tongues, desperate deals and the power of names, sees a talented cast and a multi-tasking, three-piece band bring the classic story of Rumpelstiltskin to life on stage with witty lyrics and swinging tunes.
Humourist and performance poet, Matt Harvey has adapted the traditional Grimm Brothers’ fairytale of magic, mayhem and mischief while the score comes from award-winning composer Thomas Hewitt Jones.
Emily, the Miller’s daughter, is played by Iris Roberts, who was nominated as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical at the 2013 WhatsOnStage Awards for her role in the West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. At the Theatre Royal Bath, she played Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? this summer, and appeared as Miranda in The Tempest in 2012. She has performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Donmar, and played Marion in the world premiere of The Heart of Robin Hood for the RSC.
Stephen Leask appears as The Miller. His credits include the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors in the West End; Potted Panto at the Vaudeville Theatre; and The Secret Garden for Birmingham Rep and West Yorkshire Playhouse. He last performed at the Theatre Royal Bath in A Little Hotel on the Side in 2013. His television work includes BBC’s Our World War and EastEnders, and The Intern on Channel 4.
The King is played by Richard Lowe. His stage credits include the musical Loserville at West Yorkshire Playhouse and in the West End; Streets at Hackney Empire; and The Light Princess at the National Theatre.
Recent Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Crystal Condie plays the role of Rumpelstiltskin.
Rumpelstiltskin is directed by award-winning Lotte Wakeham, Associate Director of Matilda The Musical for the Royal Shakespeare Company, in the West End and on Broadway. Lotte’s many credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream on UK tour; Rapunzel for Singapore Repertory Theatre; Lizzie Siddal at the Arcola Theatre – winner of two Off West End Awards; The Beautiful Game at Union Theatre; and Spend Spend Spend at the Bridewell Theatre.
Poet and lyricist Matt Harvey has been a familiar voice on Radio 4 since 2001 when he co-wrote and co-starred in One Night Stanza. For seven years, he was a regular poet on Saturday Live and hosted two series of The Wondermentalist Cabaret. He is the author of The Hole in the Sum of my Parts, Where Earwigs Dare and Mindless Body Spineless Mind, as well as two picture books for children, Shopping With Dad and Beastie and the Boys. Matt was first official Poet in Residence at the Wimbledon Championships and has been commissioned by – among others the Science Museum and the Open University.
Composer Thomas Hewitt Jones’s work has been performed, broadcast and published all over the world. In 2003 he won the BBC Young Composer Competition. He composed and produced the music for four animated films for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, narrated by Stephen Fry, with stories by Michael Morpurgo. His most recent work includes Incarnation, a large-scale Christmas piece for choir and orchestra; and Coronation Meadows, a suite of seven songs reflecting on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War for a choir of 200 children, which premiered in June 2014.
Thomas and Matt collaborated for the first time in 2012 on The Same Flame, a song cycle based on Olympic values, subsequently published by Boosey & Hawkes and made into a ballet by Ballet Cymru. Rumpelstiltskin is their first stage musical.
Musical Director Malcolm Newton has previously worked at the Theatre Royal Bath on Adrian Noble’s production of The Tempest in 2013 and the epic 120-strong community production of Ben Hur in 2010. His many credits also include Cinderella for Lyric, Hammersmith; The UN Inspector for National Theatre; and Morte D’Arthur, King Lear and Julius Caesar for the RSC.
Choreography is by Cressida Carré, whose many credits include Avenue Q at the Greenwich Theatre and on UK Tour; The Jungle Book at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow; Seussical at the Arts Theatre; Songs of My Life at the Garrick Theatre; the UK tour of Spring Awakening; The Great British Musical at the Criterion Theatre; and The Witches of Eastwick at the Albany Theatre.
Design is by Colin Falconer, whose previous work includes The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at the Southbank Centre; Romeo and Juliet and Three Sisters for Chichester Festival Theatre; The Blue Room at Theatre Royal Haymarket; and The Merchant of Venice for the RSC.
This year’s egg Christmas production follows recent hit family shows produced by Bath’s children’s theatre, including Moominland Midwinter in 2013, Heidi – A Goat’s Tale in 2012, and The French Detective and the Blue Dog in 2011.
Rumpelstiltskin appears at the egg theatre in Bath from Thursday 27th November 2014 to Sunday 4th January 2015. To book contact the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or visit www.theatreroyal.org.uk