Robin Hood: The Arrow of Destiny, Theatre Peckham

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by Laura Kressly

Everyone knows the myth of Robin Hood – a heroic forest dweller fights against injustice by stealing from the rich to help the poor in medieval Nottingham. Is there any truth is the story, though? Richard Hurford’s interpretation suggests Hood isn’t particularly ambitious and a bit shy; he just wants to hang in the woods with his mates. The real hero is Maid Marian, but she knows she won’t be taken seriously as a woman.

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Snow White and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon, Ovalhouse

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By Laura Kressly

I’d never considered hair salons to be the domain of estranged, murderous sisters, but this contemporary, actor-muso update of Snow White shows a darker underbelly of this normally jolly place. At the Happy Ever After salon, Trish has built a beauty empire that she rules with an iron fist, toxic pomades and razor sharp scissors. Punctuated by original vintage-style tunes, puppetry and engaging performances, this show is a sophisticated pantomime that’s diverse, accessible and fun.

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Beauty and the Beast, King’s Head Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

Fat Rascal Theatre Company has created magic in their gender-swapped, musical parody of Beauty and the Beast. This show offers an interesting look at the ideologies behind most classic fairy tales and quite literally turns it on its head with a sharp book, catchy score and brilliant performances.

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The Tin Soldier, Festival Theatre Edinburgh

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by guest critic Liam Rees

Birds of Paradise Theatre Company’s The Tin Soldier is a charming and inclusive alternative to the traditional pantomime. As a company specialising in making work with disabled people, it makes sense for the company to have chosen to adapt Hans Christian Andersen’s story as it’s one of the few children’s stories to feature a disabled protagonist.

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Snow White and Rose Red, Battersea Arts Centre

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Battersea Arts Centre’s family Christmas show for people aged 5 and up is far from the Disney version of Snow White. The children’s show by RashDash, creators of naked, feminist, Edinburgh hit Two Man Show, is also far from conventional kids’ theatre. Combining their woman-led, political ethos with the use of live music, the company reclaims femininity and appropriates the traditionally patriarchal adventure of fairytales in this spirited show for all ages.

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Hansel & Gretel, Museum of Childhood

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I’ve never been to the V&A’s Museum of Childhood, let alone after hours. But in the expansive hall and gift shop, one corner has been set up as a playing space for Popup Opera’s Hansel & Gretel. There are shelves of toys and other souvenirs behind us, and sterile glass display cases behind the stage. Our cozy pocket in the grand room has a sinister gloom surrounding what with the autumn evening’s quickly fading light. It’s a suitable space for a story that mostly takes place in the woods overnight, when fairies and witches come out to play.

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