A fairytale brought to life in Kirkcaldy

Rapunzel by balletLorent comes to Adam Smith Theatre.  Pic: Bill Cooper
Rapunzel by balletLorent comes to Adam Smith Theatre. Pic: Bill Cooper

We’ve all heard the story of Rapunzel, locked in a tower and having to throw down her long hair to be rescued by a prince.

But next week, the Grimm fairytale comes to the Adam Smith Theatre with a bit of a difference.

balletLORENT brings its captivating original production of the tale to Kirkcaldy, promising an incredible night out for children and adults alike.

The exciting contemporary dance company brings a production to the theatre that’s full of dark beauty.

The magical retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale is written by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy and co-produced by Northern Stage.

Liv Lorent, artistic director of balletLORENT, explained how this new take on a classic tale came about.

She told the Press: “I felt that I very much wanted to do a piece of theatre for a family audience, something where you could take your parents and your children to.

“Something we could have three generations sitting together and having something that was entertaining, sophisticated, emotional, visually very rich and fast moving so we can not have bored children.

“I searched through all the Grimm tales I could lay my hands.

“The Rapunzel story was such a well known classic with its images of the hair and of the tower, the prince and the rescue.

“But there was a lot about it I’d not remembered from my childhood.

“For example I didn’t know it began with a husband and wife longing for a child.

“Now being a grown up in my early 40s, I know about that and my friends have lived through that painful time of starting a family.

“Carol Ann Duffy was fantastic at bringing out the characters.

“I think that we have made something that’s very emotionally strong and powerful but also brilliantly enthralling. It’s real escapist, proper fairytale action.”

The balletLORENT version of Rapunzel is inspired by the dark themes central to the original fairytale - a woman’s longing for a child, deceit, jealousy, loyalty, loneliness, vengeance and redemption.

“It has been told again and again and reinterpreted for children of today through versions like Disney’s ‘Tangled’: but we’re telling an older, slightly darker version, more akin to its Grimm tale origins,” she said.

“We’ve included a part of the story which is usually neglected and will be telling it through the eyes of different characters.”

This ballet brings together a collection of world class collaborators.

As well as Duffy, ‘Rapunzel’ features the talents of ‘Doctor Who’ composer Murray Gold and Michele Clapton, award winning costume designer for popular television series ‘Game of Thrones’.

Liv said that the response from audiences so far as been “really good”.

She continued: “There’s not much around like it.

“It has such brilliant music. An outstanding score interwoven with sharp narration of Carol Ann Duffy’s words.

“It makes it easier to follow and there’s no need to try anddecode ballet mime.

“I keep finding a spell bound audience and that’s my favourite thing.

“It keeps the attention.

“It’s very liberating for us to see such an eclectic group of dancers physically.

“They go from skating around to being on point shoes to holding a giant pair of scissors. They make the impossible look easy and they are also brilliant actors.”

But with ‘Rapunzel’ it’s not just the professional dance cast that are the stars of the show.

balletLORENT is also delighted to be working with a talented group of young Fife dancers who were chosen from an open audition in July.

The young performers are being taught by, and rehearsing with, the company’s professional dancers.

Liv said: “That’s a very special thing.

“We have held an audition and found some brilliant talented young people who join us at each venue.

“It’s been amazing the amount of talent we have found. There’s some gorgeous, gorgeous children who will be performing alongside professional dancers.

“It’s very special and it’s not a very common experience to have.

“That’s a very special thing. Everytime we leave a venue and production and say goodbye to 10, 11, 12 children we are leaving some people behind that have fallen in love with dance in the same way that we fell in love with dance.

“I think it’s great for children in the audience to see children on stage.

“The feel of the whole thing is very organic, beautiful and very unpretentious. There’s a lot of energy. The energy an eight, nine or 10 year old brings to it is incredible.

“You can have the best 25-year-old dancer in the world, but they can’t pretend to be eight.

“The legacy of it for some of them, it’s a real milestone.

“They have performed on an incredible stage with incredible dancers. It’s a memory of a life time.”

‘Rapunzel’ runs at Adam Smith Theatre on Friday, October 3 and Saturday, October 4.