Graeae, the world’s foremost disabled-led theatre company, is well-qualified to stage a show that turns on the quest for perfection in a stubbornly imperfect world.
This medley of true story, science fiction and fairytale, for everyone aged from 10, is a repackaging of the Snow White legend seen from a variety of perspectives. It’s a show within a show - a family troupe of short statured individuals who are staging the Brothers Grimm tale becomes entangled in a drama at the hands of a sinister geneticist.
If the double-edged storyline seems at first confusing - the performers flit in and out their fairytale roles - the dual level staging designed by Marc Laine and the pivotal performance by the exquisite Kiruna Stamell as Frieda, the dwarf who would be Snow White, clarify the issues.
The company acts out its imposed roles on a bare-board, pitched stage, but the real drama - the preparations, deceptions and tantrums go on in the cramped dressing rooms set out underneath. Stamell steers the cast on a boisterous, wise-cracking course through a production that totters slightly under the weight of distant gunfire, real and present bigotry and allusions to Nazi eugenics, and it is her endearing disregard for normality that gives this show its bite.