Review: Fairy Tale Ending – Roll Your Own Theatre – Next Stage Theatre

by Ryan Kerr

A Fringe re-mount, “Fairy Tale Ending” is back in the Next Stage Theatre festival. And judging by other reviews it’s as good as ever!

Jack, Jill, The Big Bad Wolf, Goldilocks, and the ubiquitous “Three” (Little Pigs, Bears, Goats Gruff, and Blind Mice) are repurposed in this witty re-telling of several famous fairy tales. What emerges from this surprising porridge is a hearty spoonful of modern morality.

“Fairy Tale Ending” begins with the narrator, Jill (played by Meagan Tuck) investigating the mysterious re-writing of all of her favourite childhood stories. The show opens in a jail holding-cell, where the Cop, wonderfully portrayed by Christina Gordon, forces the accused to re-tell their stories and prove they haven’t caused these heinous alterations to Jill’s sacred tales. Hilarity ensues.

Despite being based on simplified bedtime stories, the music and book by Kieren MacMillan and Jeremy Hutton are far from the predictable and repetitive “Children’s Musical” archetype. (I bought the soundtrack!) Song titles include Goldilocks’ “I Totally Don’t Even Give a Care” (in response to horrified Baby Bear who’s porridge has been consumed), and The Big Bad Wolf’s “Addicted” (to pork) where he explains his uncontrollable lust for the Three Pigs.

The theme song “Fairy Tale Ending” is both beautiful and thought-provoking, as Jill reconciles her deeper need for things to be as they once were. Turns out, the transition into adulthood is challenging even for musical theatre personas. I left the theatre humming the tunes and wondering if I too needed to question my attachment to the past. In song. The answer was yes to both, actually…

I can’t wait to see the next incarnation of this promising new Canadian musical.

Fairy Tale Ending (Roll Your Own Theatre) by Kieren MacMillan and Jeremy Hutton

Factory Theatre 125 Bathurst St. (Adelaide St. Entrance) at the Next Stage Theatre Festival

Thursday January 13 @ 5:00 PM
Friday January 14 @ 5:15 PM
Saturday January 15 @ 7:00 PM
Sunday January 16 @ 5:15 PM

Tickets $12-$15