Tales of the Brothers Grimm was truly a highlight of the festive theatre scene. This family musical is a surprise from start to finish that will leave you feeling truly uplifted and ready to start your own ‘Once upon a time’.

I’ve seen plenty of family shows over the years, but I can honestly say this was one of the best. It was refreshing to see a production that was so unique and unexpected.

The Cast of Tales of the Brothers Grimm at the Sherman Theatre (Photo: Mark Douet)

I didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect going into the show. All I really knew was that it was going to tell the stories of the Brothers Grimm. This was the first surprise of the evening.

The story begins in Cardiff, 1913. A young girl named Stevie (LILY BEAU) receives a book, The Tales of the Brothers Grimm, for Christmas from her uncles (JAMES IFAN and KYLE LIMA). After her Suffragette mother (HANNAH MCPAKE) protests her reading of the tales, Stevie is blown away into the wonderful world of the Brothers Grimm.

There, Stevie meets the Narrator (KEIRON SELF) and together they travel across the slowly changing Grimmdom to meet the mystical Brothers. Along the way they meet Cinderella (KATIE ELIN-SALT), Sleeping Beauty (BETHZIENNA WILLIAMS) and Rapunzel (SARAH WORKMAN) who are all on the search for their happily ever after. The storm that brought Stevie to the forest is more than meets the eye and soon the seemly perfect world starts to release that not everyone is made for the part they were written for.

The musical numbers throughout the play span a number of genres, from punk-pop to ballads. Written by Hannah McPake, with musical direction by BARNABY SOUTHGATE and music composed by LUCY RIVERS, the musical moments shine through as ways for each character to express their true story.

Each song had a different feel and a different style, but everyone was as good as the last. The cast performed them all exceptionally with flair and style that match their characters in their own quirky ways. Kyle Lima’s take on the Big Bad Wolf was a highlight, there was so much character in his song. Bethzienna Williams as Sleeping Beauty was a particular stand-out with a vocal performance that was breathtaking.

Speaking of the cast, there was so much talent on stage. For a start, most of the cast play multiple roles throughout, most having real-world/Grimmdom counterparts. A nice little nod to the Wizard of Oz.

Not only did the cast have multiple roles, but they also had the second job of performing as the on-stage band. It made the whole show feel even more special and added a punk-rock element to the modern retelling going on throughout.

The costumes and set design (HAYLEY GRINDLE) were so impressive. I don’t want to spoil too much but the reveal of the Grimmdom was genuinely surprising, and it was lovely seeing the reactions of the children in the audience.

The small but important changes to costumes throughout the story really helped illustrate the themes of the show in such a subtle but powerful way.

Together director JOE MURPHY and writer Hannah have really made something special. The children in the audience were transfixed throughout and their reactions made the experience even more magical for the adults around them. The audience was constantly laughing at jokes that were genuinely funny (not just in that sort-of panto way).

Hannah McPake – Mum / Snow Queen (Photo: Mark Douet)

McPake’s story has an important message at its core that is something I’m sure a lot of parents would want their children to grow up to follow. It’s all about being yourself and not letting anyone else control your story. Its empowering, thoughtful and most of all its fun. Children and adults alike will gravitate towards this wonderful show.

TALES OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff will run through until the 31st of December. To find out more and to purchase tickets go HERE.

They also have access performances in place on the dates below…..

  • Sat 3 Dec – 2pm Relaxed Performance
  • Sat 10 Dec – 2pm Audio Described
  • Sat 17 Dec – 2pm Captioned
  • Wed 28 Dec – 2pm Captioned
  • Wed 28 Dec – 2pm BSL interpreted

The team at the Sherman are aware that the price of everything seems to be going up at the moment so want to ensure that the cost of tickets is in reach of as many people as possible:

  • Children and Under 25s can see Tales of the Brothers Grimm for half price.
  • 2 adults and 2 children can see Tales of the Brothers Grimm from under £50 by buying 2 Band D tickets at £16 each and 2 Band D tickets at half price for children and under 25s at £8 each (subject to availability).
  • Break down the cost of your tickets for the show into two equal payments, one when you book and the other a week before the performance. Call 029 2064 6900 to find out more (applies to bookings of £20 in value or more).