Inclusivity at its best

Paul Everitt from Love Your Doorstep gives his verdict on Chickenshed’s long-awaited Christmas show, Ever After – A Mixed Up Fairytale

Ever After – A Mixed Up Fairytale is this year's Christmas production from Chickenshed, it's first major show since the pandemic began
Ever After – A Mixed Up Fairytale is this year’s Christmas production from Chickenshed, it’s first major show since the pandemic began (credit Steve Gregson Photography)

Christmas bells mark the arrival of Ever After – A Mixed Up Fairytale at Chickenshed Theatre and, after a two-year absence, this joyous two hours of magical musical storytelling by Dave Carey is well worth the wait.

Ever After is a mashup of three Brothers Grimm stories: Hansel and Gretel, Rumplestiltskin and The Twelve Dancing Princesses. The mashup occurs as a result of the Grimm Brothers mixing up their manuscript pages following an argument about a sister being referred to as a brother and a whole debate about paternalism, sexism and all sorts of equality issues still not
resolved in 2021!

No subject is off limits for this ground-breaking, inclusive theatre company,
teaching their glorious young people to be who they want to be. The magnificent set magically reveals itself, layer upon layer, from bare stage, through enchanted forest to majestic castle, beautifully designed and lit by Andrew Caddies.

The show is packed full of superb performances; Gemilla Shamruk’s slightly unhinged and power-mad Queen is a delight, and Michael Bossisse’s Rumplestiltskin is played with a captivating mix of manipulation and vulnerability.

But the highlights of the show are when the stage is packed full of the young and talented Chickenshed company performing up a storm under the skilled and sensitive direction of Belinda McGuirk.

There’s 150 in each performance, giving the opportunity for 800 young people to perform throughout the run. It is inclusivity at its very best and you leave the theatre brimming with hope and joy.

This beautiful show is the true spirit of Christmas and runs at Chickenshed Theatre until the 8th January 2022.

Ever After – A Mixed Up Fairytale is on at Chickenshed Theatre in Chase Side, Southgate, until Saturday, 8th January. Tickets range from £10 to £22.50, for ages of five years upwards. To book:
Call 020 8292 9222
Email [email protected]
Visit chickenshed.org.uk/Event/everafter