Joining Snow White and Rose Red on their adventures, Lisa Clatworthy travels from Bluebell Cottage to the Icy Hills of Smallfolk
I had to double-check that this production didn’t come with a request to leave your prejudices and preconceived ideas at the door, because Snow White & Rose Red, Cambridge Junction’s Christmas Show, isn’t the tale of Snow-White and Rose-Red as written down by the Grimm Brothers, and nor is it Snow White as Disney retold it. It’s an altogether more sophisticated, modern, loud, fast and physical story – and it’s enchanting, just as fairy tales should be.
With only six actors in the company – I use the term actor loosely as they are so much more – and a stripped-back stage set, this is a riot of a family show, the first produced by RashDash. And it’s a beautifully conceived and crafted first show.
RashDash describe their work as “political and radical”, and admit to a particular interest in stories about women. This is all evident in Snow White and Rose Red (they’re women not girls – yes!), but it doesn’t detract from more traditional ideas of a Christmas fairy tale. In my opinion, they add to it. There are baddies, goodies, kindness, danger and scary moments, which got the kids on the edge of their seats, as well as two happy endings. You see, it doesn’t have to be ‘girl falls in love with handsome boy’, and girls don’t have to wait around for the hero.
Turns out, women can be heroes, go on adventures, play the drums and sing their hearts out. Oh, and bears drink tea. But don’t just take my word for it. Go and see Snow White, Rose Red, Snow Angel, Bear, Very Small Man and Fairy Helper do all of that, and more.
Images by Lina and Tom