The Story Giant review at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool – ‘a magical adaptation’

Richard Bremmer in The Story Giant at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool. Photo: Stephen Vaughan
Richard Bremmer in The Story Giant at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool. Photo: Stephen Vaughan
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The Story Giant has gathered all but one of the world’s stories in a library in his castle tower. If he doesn’t find the last missing story his castle will crumble and he will die.

In Brian Patten’s book, the Giant, with the four children he enlists to help him, get through 50 stories, but for this stage adaptation Lindsay Rodden has carefully selected just a few.

The Everyman rep season’s design team has created its most ambitious and sculptural set to date, with a huge tree growing through the centre of the library, spreading its branches across the entire space.

The homes of the children are represented at the corners of the stage; Patna, Devon, Los Angeles and, in one small deviation from the original, Aleppo. Once we have met all four children, they then introduce us to the Giant, given a wonderfully mysterious and characterful reading by Richard Bremmer.

As the children search for the missing story there’s a nicely balanced range of darkness and humour, and while the tales squeeze in several moral messages there’s never a sense of feeling lectured to. “Don’t step on each other’s tongues, that’s how wars begin” warns the Giant, as he tries to keep peace between the nations represented.

Patrick Dineen’s musical backdrop nods occasionally toward Harry Potter. With engaging performances from the entire cast, The Story Giant is a magical experience that captivates its audience and the Everyman company continues to maintain the high standard already shown in the season so far.

Verdict
A magical adaptation of Brian Patten’s fairytale compendium that delivers its message with tremendous charm
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