Rumpelstiltskin @ HM Theatre Aberdeen - By Duncan Harley


This coming weekend sees Aberdeen Bramble Brae School pupils take to the HMT stage to take part in balletLorent's brand-new production of Rumpelstiltskin.

Conner Burton, Connor McGregor, Emily Rose Wood, Hanna Adrykowska, Rhylan Stuart Quinn, Rhys Warner and Robert Smith will tread the boards at His Majesty’s Theatre alongside award-winning dance theatre company 'balletLORENT'. 

Liv Lorent - Artistic Director and Choreographer for the production - commented that 
“We’re so pleased to have found a fantastic group of children in Aberdeen to become part of our team. At this age, children often have innate talent, a lack of self-consciousness and physical beauty in movement, which can be captured and channelled to great effect through projects like ours.”

As a folk-tale, Rumpelstiltskin is a tragedy deeply mired in kidnap and gender exploitation. Indeed, the fairy-tale tugs strongly at the heartstrings:

‘There was once a miller who was very poor. But he had a beautiful daughter. Now it so happened that when he came to speak with the king about milling and wheat and things, he was drawn to exaggerate ever so slightly about his importance. In an attempt to impress his king, after all the milling of wheat is not really particularly interesting and is in fact quite a dusty and industrial process, he announced to the startled monarch that he and he alone, possessed a talented and very pretty daughter who had mastered the art of spinning straw into gold.'

The bullion-greedy monarch was all ears - and so begins the more traditional version of the tale of Rumpelstiltskin.

The king locks the miller’s daughter in a room deep within the castle and forces the unfortunate teenager to spin for gold or face a grisly death. The theme is of course based on the thorny question posed by Rumpelstiltskin "What will you give me if I spin straw into gold for you?"  And of course, only Rumpelstiltskin can rescue the golden-haired maiden from the threat of execution. A morality tale of greed and redemption with distinctly chauvinistic overtones, Rumpelstiltskin was collected by the Grimm brothers and published in the 1812 edition of Children’s Household Tales.

Stuffed full of action, colour and humour this emotionally rich fairy-tale – performed in ballet – is set in a rural world full of sheep, straw, wool and alchemy where the alchemist, Rumpelstiltskin, is portrayed as an outcast until finally revealed to be "the true prince that he was”.

With a score by appropriately named Doctor Who composer Murray Gold, costumes designed by Michele Clapton (Game of Thrones) and narration by actor Ben Crompton, this is dance-theatre aimed firmly at a 21st century family audience.
All in all, this promises to be a splendid revival of a commendable classic and is suitable for most adults and most children over seven years of age and I for one am looking forward to the magic of it all.


There is a trailer @: Rumpelstilkskin
Directed by Liv Lorent, with commentary composed by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Rumpelstiltskin plays at HMT Aberdeen on Friday September 28th and Saturday 29th only.
Tickets from Aberdeen Performing Arts Tel: 01224- 641122

Words © Duncan Harley and Images © APA

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