This world-exclusive immersive theatrical production transforms a handful of award-winning author Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales adaptations into 150 minutes of raw, unrelenting action. In the labyrinthine sprawl of the Bargehouse chambers, words will become flesh and blood, sights and sounds. You’ll feel the characters’ breath on your neck as they pass you, a cloud of dust billowing up from the stone floor beneath your feet as you track them to the centre of the action.
The chosen handful of Pullman’s adaptations includes stories you’ll know and ones you won’t: The Frog King is a tale of broken promises and slimy surprises, while Hansel and Gretel are forced to pit their wisdom against the monstrous machinations of a rotten old witch.
Ever since the closure of The Drowned Man, I and a lot of other attendees have been desperately seeking to fill the void. As such it has led me to see some pretty interesting shows along the way. One which kept popping up in conversation was Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales which was back after a previous very successful run at Shoreditch Town Hall. The new location, The Bargehouse at the OXO Tower was wonderfully creepy and downtrodden making it the perfect environment.
Upon arrival we were sent up to the second floor where there was a bar for us to wait in until it was time to start. This bar was wonderfully themed with old wooden chairs stuck to the walls, a spinning wheel and some rosy red apples. We had a short while to wait so grabbed a drink and admired our surroundings until two actors came running through urging us all to “follow the stories”.
Off we went into the room of our first tale and over the course of the evening we were treated to five of the Grimm Fairytales; The Frog King, Hansel & Gretel, Faithful Johannes, Thousandfurs and The Three Little Men in the Woods. A couple of which I knew but mostly ones I didn’t. The subject matter isn’t always the most pleasant, there’s talk of incest and children being murdered so I wouldn’t be inclined to take children with you but for the grown ups it’s a lot of fun. At the end you’re left to wander the sets and take in the all of the magical detail the designers have put into them.
Grimm Tales at The Bargehouse has been extended until the 11th April so if creepy fairytales are your thing I’d recommend you see it while you still can! The tickets are quite expensive starting at £45 but TimeOut London quite often have discounted ones so keep an eye out for those!