Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Prince Charming is in trouble! He needs a wife but who to choose: Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty? Act 2 Theatre company take on fairy tales and princesses in this charming gentle children’s show
Charming! was just that. Produced by seemingly young company, Act 2 take on classic tales of fairy’s, frogs and prince and princesses. Prince Charming must find a wife, a princess, but who to choose? Snow White? Repunzel? Sleeping Beauty? So Prince Charming sets off through the fairy tale kingdom in search of this princess, becoming engaged to not one but four all the while singing mildly amusing songs, adding some good pantomime touches and some gentle audience participation in for good measure.
Targeted a 4-8 yr olds, I had a time in deciding whether an 8 yr old would really become engrossed in such a simple plot and panto-esque style, 8 yr olds i know watch Dr Who and Soap Operas. With this in mind, a target of 4-6 may be more appropriate and realistic.
Prince Charming carries the piece with a great load of energy and pace, clearly a skilled performer, although singing not so, the songs were often glazed over and moved through quickly. The score and the lyrics were however fun and moved the action on without detracting from plotting. The supporting cast are engaging with some strong singers and character comics, this small company bring the climax of the story to an upbeat ending. Whilst perhaps the audio could have been turned up to 9, some music, which may have affected the singing, was often almost inaudible, and the scene changes cleaner and clearer with far more use of the lighting rig at this venue. Tackling these technical issues would have made for something rather magical.
The majority of the audience between 3-6, smiles at thisoften candy for the eyes – which is a refreshing change often to the bigger budget theatre or less than perfect puppet theatre we often see. 4 yr olds would love it, the bright costumes and simple set provide a charming way to spend a morning with the family.
A less than faultless production, Charming! is a refreshing and modern retelling of the classics, with moments of enjoyment and amusement, very easy for children to enjoy.