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NEWS: Creation Theatre’s latest online production is Grimm Tales for Fragile Times & Broken People

Oxford-based Creation Theatre is presenting its online production of Grimm Tales for Fragile Times & Broken People, a deliciously dark and twisted set of fairy tales, from 28 January to 14 February 2021.

A feast of storytelling inspired by Brothers Grimm fairy tales, Grimm Tales for Fragile Times & Broken People will be performed by a five-strong cast with the action set in a distorted world of hand-crafted toy theatres, reinvented and reinterpreted for the digital stage. The cast is Kofi Dennis, Dharmesh Patel, Natasha Rickman, Graeme Rose and Annabelle Terry.

Classic favourites featured include Hansel & Gretel and Rumpelstiltskin, as well as lesser-known gruesome fairy tales including The Juniper Tree, The Moon and Godfather Death.

This assemblage of macabre tales will creep through trapdoors, lurk in the shadows and transform your living room into a nightmarish fairy tale world.

Says the company:

“Join us online as we trawl through woodlands to escape the grasps of some of the Grimm Brothers’ most notorious nasties.”

One of the first theatre companies to master producing online theatre using Zoom during lockdown, Creation Theatre recently won a major funding award from Innovate UK to produce pioneering work in the digital theatre space, drawing on expertise from the worlds of tech, theatre, film and gaming.

The funding has allowed the company  to develop three new strands of theatrical work which the organisation hopes will pave the way for new approaches in the industry. These include developing a new dedicated Digital Theatre Platform and the launch of the first Digital Repertory Company. The new rep employs five full-time actors over six months who perform in two major pieces of digital theatre, the first of which is Grimm Tales for Fragile Times & Broken People.

Creation Theatre is Oxfordshire’s largest producing theatre company, specialising for over 24 years in site-responsive productions and bringing to life stories and classic texts in unusual locations. In April 2020, shortly after the outbreak of Covid-19, the organisation moved swiftly to master the digital stage, recruiting cast and creatives to perform productions remotely and to broadcast live from their own homes via Zoom. A Digital Toolkit has also been produced focusing on Creation’s recent production of Alice: A Virtual Theme Park to provide practical support within the sector in how to adapt to digital work.

Every performance of Grimm Tales for Fragile Times & Broken People (suitable for ages 12-plus) is performed live by the cast of the Creation Theatre Rep Company and brought to audiences online via Zoom.

Tickets are available for shows on Wednesdays to Sundays (28 January to 14 February 2021) at 8pm GMT (3pm EST, 12pm PST, 2pm CST). The running time will be approximately 60 minutes.

The Grimm Tales Virtual Party Room offer includes a four device ticket for the performance and immediate, seamless access to a post-show Zoom room.

[clockwise] Graeme Rose, Natasha Rickman, Dharmesh Patel and Kofi Dennis. Main picture (above): Annabelle Terry


Kofi Dennis is a graduate of LIPA and was recently involved in a professional workshop called the Black Queer Actors Playground, led by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu. There Kofi was able to be a part of a group of actors coming together to share their experiences and also R&D some upcoming LGBT+ pieces of work.

Dharmesh Patel trained at Hope Street Physical Theatre School. His credits include The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland with Creation Theatre and numerous credits at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the RSC, National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Manchester Exchange and Improbable in New York.

Natasha Rickman trained at RADA and is currently an artistic associate at Jermyn Street Theatre and a core ensemble member with The Faction. Directing credits include The Merry Wives of Whatsapp (Creation); The Time Machine (The London Library and online for Creation); A Christmas Carol (Guildford Shakespeare Company); and Virginia (Jermyn Street). Acting credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, King Lear, The Snow Queen (Creation); Love’s Labour’s Lost, Thy Eternal Summer, All That Glisters (Guildford Shakespeare Company); and The Talented Mr Ripley, Romeo and Juliet, Joan of Arc, Dog’s Dialogue (The Faction at Wilton’s Music Hall, Greenwich Theatre, New Diorama).

Graeme Rose is a co-founder of theatre companies Stan’s Cafe and The Resurrectionists. He has worked with companies including Red Shift, Talking Birds, Bodies in Flight, Imitating the Dog, KILN Ensemble, Theatre Absolute, Little Earthquake, Untied Artists, The Other Way Works, No Stone and Coventry Belgrade. He recently turned a solo show Fred Jeffs: The Sweetshop Murder into a True Crime Podcast series. Previous work with Creation includes the adaptations of 1984, Don Quixote and The Time Machine.

Annabelle Terry’s credits include Christmas Carol, Swallows and Amazons, Peter Pan, The Snow Queen, The Tempest, Alice A Virtual Theme Park and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Creation). Other credits include: Northanger Abbey (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and UK tour); NewsRevue (Canal Cafe Theatre); and All’s Well That Ends Well (Changeling Theatre),

Giles Stoakley has been working as an actor and stage manager for more than a decade and in the last five years has moved into production management. He has now been production manager for 12 pantomimes in Peterborough, Northampton and Scotland. He has worked for Northern Irish company Big Telly and has toured with Theatre Royal Bath’s production of Driving Miss Daisy. He works regularly for Creation Theatre on their site-specific shows in Oxford, London and now online.

from News, Reviews and Features – My Theatre Mates

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