Lucie Loves… Theatre // Immersively Grimm Tales at OXO Tower, London
We recently went to see Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales for Young & Old at the very incredible Bargehouse, located in London’s iconic OXO Tower Wharf.
I’d heard great things about immersive theatre after speaking to a couple of friend’s who has been to seen Punch Drunk’s The Drowned Man, but I’d never experienced it for myself. I was told that it’s best to go as a group and explore the spaces around you as they unfold into unique storytelling platforms before your very eyes. You follow the actors around the building, through narrow corridors and into darkened rooms - each one completely unique from the rest.
Grimm Tales features five tales over the course of the evening, but the props and decorative rooms hint are heavily evocative of those still left untold.
As a child I was a huge devourer of books. I could often be found reading my way through Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree. I’ve just read that this is going to be turned into a film! I’m looking forward to seeing the adaptation. leafing through The Wishing Chair, The Enchanted Wood and getting lost in the adventures of Mrs Pepperpot were also favourite past-times of mine. It might be why I’ve got such an active imagination…
It was around this time, I was probably 8 or so, that I must have first picked up a copy of The Complete Fairytales of the Brothers Grimm. I cannot remember exactly which version, but it’s stayed with me.
As I sat in the audience and watched the actors and the stories play out, I remembered leafing through its pages and being drawn into tales like The Frog Prince. The familiar narrative stirred something deep within me that had been buried for over 20 years. The power of fairy tales is quite incredible really.
I used to loan books from my primary school’s mobile library that run a book club, and quickly grew rather obsessed with Point Horror and R.L. Stan's Goosebumps books.
Other favourite books from my late 80s/early 90s childhood include:
- The Jolly Postman - Janet and Allan Ahlberg
- The Flowers in the Attic - V.C. Andrews
- The Oxford Children’s Classics Collection which consisted of books like: Little women, The Secret Garden, and Black Beauty.
Theatre, for me, is pure escapism.
Grimm Tales is a journey into a dark, weird and wonderful world with thickening plots, brilliantly thought out sets for 5-stories, laid out over 5-floors full of engaging actors and unexpected twists. We truly enjoyed our first immersive theatre experience and have developed an appetite for more.
I was hugely impressed at the imaginative use of props: everyday objects are transformed into magical creatures and eerie backdrops. Filament lightbulbs adorn the ceiling, often twinkling or darkening to set the mood.
Find out more about the tales, the cast and book your tickets for Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales at www.grimm-tales.co.uk. Performances run for around 2-hours 35 minutes and are suitable for anyone over the age of 8.
Disclaimer: Our tickets to review the performance were complimentary, but I would whole-heartedly recommend the show for anyone wishing to experience immersive theatre.**
Photography © Lucie Kerley