Theatre: He's F**king Behind You! Pantomime Gone Wild
Written by: Violet Myers
Writing team Jez Bond and Mark Cameron make a triumphant return to the Park Theatre with their adaptation of Rapunzel. A raw, insightful character study of a working class conman’s efforts to raise a baby girl alone and the systems that stand in his way.
Set in a Dystopian, bleak future within the Kingdom of Waa, where basic linguistics have failed and people are forced to express their feelings through whimsical public song outbursts and scathing innuendo. The play rather chillingly begins as the monarchy, who have returned to power in what we can only imagine is the outcome of a horrifically bloody civil war, await to see if they will have a heir to their dictatorship.
Set in a Dystopian, bleak future within the Kingdom of Waa, where basic linguistics have failed and people are forced to express their feelings through whimsical public song outbursts…
It is here we meet our anti-hero, The Great Gazoombees, a jaded misunderstood character just trying to make a profit in a dark world obsessed by the monarchy. In a bid to rise within a rigid class system, Gazoombees infiltrates the royal family, stealing the young princess Rapunzel, in order to escape the poverty he has had to endure his entire life. Hiding her away in a high tower, a rather blatant yet powerful symbol of London’s increasing housing crisis, he keeps her there and attempts one of life’s most arduous challenges, to raise a child alone.
As Rapunzel grows older, she escapes the home her adoptive father has made for her, using her very long hair as a ladder which she cuts, freeing herself from him and the encompassing poverty he represents, an obvious exploration of post Thatcher working class families’ chain of employment, cut off by a power hungry Conservative government.
The play ends as Rapunzel chooses a life of shallow materialism, shunning her father and his modest roots, a sobering reminder of the fragility of the modern family.
Rapunzel serves as a cautionary tale, in a way that echoes the tragedies of Aristotle, in the cold reality of capitalism the individual holds no chance against the establishment, or in this case the oppressive Kingdom of Waa.
Unfortunately, the experience was jaded by scores of rowdy children, oblivious to correct theatre etiquette. Throughout the play they would rise to their feet, clap their hands and even boo and hiss certain actors whenever they entered the stage, I’d never seen such great disrespect for a writer’s work. For this I call for a complete ban on children in the theatre, especially during the Christmas season.
Clifton Terrace, London N4 3JP
Running until the 2nd of January
Running Time: 2 hours [inc. 20 min. interval]
Photographs by Darren Bell
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