Everybody wants a happy ending. Though working in journalism, I don’t get a chance to report that many.
Instead, I cover disastrous, doom-laden endings.
The plane crashes, the ship sinks, the nefarious aliens arrive from outer space and evaporate an entire suburb of Birmingham...
Sometimes I wish it was a less cynical world and I could write about life’s happy ever afters.
My chance came last week, when I took my four-year-old son, Ben, to see the MAC’s Christmas show for children, The Lost Happy Endings.
The ninety minute drama is about Jub, a magical character who lives in a forest and collects and sends out the happy endings from fairy tales, making sure they drop into family houses in time for a bedtime story.
Unfortunately Jub meets a nasty witch (is there any other kind?) who nabs all her happy endings.
Which means Snow White doesn’t receive her kiss from the handsome prince and Little Red Riding Hood looks set to spend the winter in the wolf’s belly.
But Jub is a crafty soul who outwits the witch, making sure even The Lost Happy Endings has a happy ending.
This is an excellent show from Red Earth Theatre. What it lacks in big budget special effects it makes up for in imaginative staging and boisterous acting from a cast of four.
There’s even a segment that uses inventive puppetry, plus there’s a couple of song and dance numbers, performed to the rhythms of Michael Jackson and Queen.
Based on the book by Carol Ann Duffy, the narrative never shies away from the grizzlier moments in traditional fairy tales.
Snow White’s wicked stepmother is punished by being forced to dance in hot-iron shoes until she drops down dead. One of the ugly sisters chops off her toes in an effort to fit the glass slipper.
Kids relish such violence, though I saw a few parents wince.
The Lost Happy Endings is a magical story about the magic of stories. Ben and I agreed that it was once upon a perfect.
Rating * * * * *
(At the Mac until Jan 3)