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The Golden Goose

The Library Theatre's Christmas show this year is the Golden Goose, written and directed by Charles Way...

Published on November 28th 2006.

The Golden Goose

The Library Theatre
Written and directed by Charles Way

Ok, how to write this without descending into cheesy nonsense. All my senses are urging me to use words such as ‘magical’, ‘spellbinding’, and ‘great fun for kids and adults alike’. I’ll try my hardest to refrain from gushing too much, but really, this play deserves a waterfall of sickly sweet adjectives.

Written and directed by Charles Way, this is a delightful family comedy that will warm the coldest heart on a winter’s night. Adapted from the Brothers Grimm story of the same name, the play blends fairy tale with a certain Shakespearean comedy, and shakes it all up to date with modern references and vibrant characterisation.

The story follows the trials of Dummling, a simple young boy who is awarded a golden goose by the fairies after he proves himself to have a good heart. Stay with me. Along with his boisterous older brother and long suffering mother, he finds himself at the king’s palace, where there lives a moody teenage princess who will not laugh. Sure enough, Dummling makes the princess laugh and falls in love, but before the king will allow them to marry he must prove his worth through a series of near impossible adventures, which he embarks on with the help of the golden goose and the king and queen of the fairies.

Characterisation is larger than life, with Paul Stocker simply wonderful as the kind hearted Dummling, bringing comedy and plenty of energy to the role and delighting the excitable children sat all around me.

Paul Stocker as Dummling

Eleanor Howell is accessible and down to earth as the sulky, angst ridden teenage princess Dajona, while Anne Rowe shines as her giggly sister Birgit. Stephen Finegold and Rebecca Hulbert are exceptional and bring a dark touch to the play as the Fairy King and Queen struggling to save their race.

Jamie Vartan’s design is simple but effective, with sprinkles of magic added throughout by the use of plenty of special effects and dramatic lighting.

I was probably the only childless adult in the audience. But what did that matter. You don’t need to take a child with you – by the end of this beautiful Christmas play you’ll have discovered the big kid inside you anyway. And hey, you may even believe in fairies.

Jayne Robinson

The Golden Goose
The Library Theatre
25 Nov 2006 – 13 Jan 2007

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