Box House Theatre Company’s Twisted Tales is a fascinating and funny physical theatre piece about six thespians who come across the twisted tales book, When they step onto the book they are restricted to performing the tales. We see them tell the tales of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, and The Saga Of The Almighty Vikings – all delivered with a twist. 

The staging is minimal with the actors cautiously entering the studio space which is empty except for one large Twisted Tales book. At first, they are cautious of the book but once they take a step onto it we are transported into our first tale. The book is made up of a mat and when the actors are delivering the tales they are confined to this space. 

Box House Theatre aims to show that storytelling can be best delivered by using only the body and voice, through Twisted Tales they’re successful at showing this. All of the sound effects are made through the actors’ voices and the stories are brought to life through the actors’ physicality. They bring to life the characters, as well as the setting of each tale. For example in the Little Red Riding Hood retelling they all create the wolf’s stomach with their bodies, intertwining with each other and moving as a whole. This piece is an excellent example of actors transitioning between being individuals and blending as one with the group. All of the movement and sound serve a purpose and amplify the storytelling. It is lovely when you see them move as a whole, and you can also focus on any individual and see detail in their movements at any given time. All of the physicality is detailed and planned, and whilst the actors deliver this with ease, perhaps having this much detail in the physicality, in turn, restricts them slightly. 

The humour in this piece helps to keep the audience engaged and entertained and there are some lovely moments where they make fun of characters or the actor within the piece itself. A moment I found particularly entertaining was in the Saga of The Almighty Vikings they go to visit “the wise one”, who is created with several of their bodies and voiced by Amy Fielding, we see them just saying “jargon, jargon, jargon” and waving their arms in this whimsical ethereal manor, providing lots of laughs for the audience. 

The integration of songs works very well to elevate the storytelling. In the Saga of The Almighty Vikings, they sing “My Mother Told Me”, with the blended harmonies really amplifying and bringing to life the atmosphere, and these Vikings in front of us. 

Twisted Tales is a detailed and unique exploration of these traditional tales, emphasising how the human body can be the only tool you need in storytelling. The actors collaborate wonderfully as an ensemble as well as having stand-out moments as individuals. This is a stunning piece of physical theatre, and the concept of them being confined to a small space adds an interesting edge. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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