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Caged: The galloping and neighing had every person in the room on the edge of their seat

Nina Geogieff as The Little Bird

Caged by The King's Players / King's Players

WHEN I first heard about Caged being based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid and the Grimm’s tale, The Raven, I have to admit, I was dubious.

These famous tales have been re-created and adapted over and over again, to the point where the once creative and mysterious story runs the risk of becoming a dry one.

I was pleased, however, when I discovered that this completely devised play would take a physical theatre approach in an attempt to project the darkness, fear and the pain that lies behind the theme of transformation in these world-famous tales.

Shock

They didn’t disappoint. I attended their opening performance on December 3, where I witnessed a truly creative production.

Although the play stuck very closely to the plot and themes of the two fairytales, the combination of quality acting, simple setting and brilliant direction allowed Caged to make an impact and, even, to shock.

Nina Georgieff and Carlo Palazzi in Caged

Bittersweet: Caged by The King's Players / King's Players

Directors Caitlin Evans and Kate Aspinall worked brilliantly with the simple, yet scarily effective, stage of The Rag Factory, with white feathers and bird cages dangling from the ceiling and casting shadows on the dimly lit room.

As you made your way up a set of old wooden stairs, you could already hear the strum of a guitar and, as you entered, the cast were already performing on stage.

This, along with the intimacy of the theatre, cleverly encouraged us to emerge ourselves immediately into ‘the forest world’.

Wanting more

The strongest point of the production? Without a doubt, the cast themselves. They clearly worked brilliantly together, particularly in the impressive and tightly performed horse scene, where The Little Bird is picked up by a horse carriage and taken to the Prince’s castle.

The sounds of galloping and neighing, coming only from the actors, had every person in the room on the edge of their seat.

My only criticism: we were all left wanting more. The story could have definitely been taken further and even experimented more with the plot of Anderson’s and Grimm’s tales.

However, I’m sure that this is just the tip of the iceberg for Directors Caitlin Evans and Kate Aspinall, and I’m excited to see what comes next from these two talented directors.

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