Devised from the novel by Bruno Vincent, Teasel Theatre’s rip-roaring production of Grisly Tales From Tumblewater is an exciting and darkly comic delight with a pitch-perfect performance at its core.
With little more than a torch and a top hat, Edward Jaspers takes us above and beneath the rain-soaked streets of Tumblewater, a city squeezed in a dual grip by an evil landowner and a malevolent witch. Jaspers plays daring orphan Daniel Dorey, who arrives in Tumblewater on a quest to find his estranged sister and finds himself caught up in all manner of escapades and adventures.
Jaspers’ performance is impressive here: with limited props and a set consisting entirely of a single stepladder, he successfully recreates all the dripping atmosphere and sinister mood of Tumblewater, jumping between the grotesque characters with ease and never once losing the audience in the process. Possessing an appealing charm and first-rate comic timing, his delivery wins over adults and children alike, although some parts of the tale he tells may be a little too dark for the very young.
Expressive, physical and also performing the piece’s several songs (the method by which the majority of the tales are told), Jaspers proves to be a captivating storyteller who – for those who find the morality tales of Roald Dahl or the gothic tingle of Lemony Snicket appealing – spins a yarn which grips from the initial downpour all the way through to the first glimpse of sunshine at the end.
Grisly Tales From Tumblewater runs until Aug 29 (not 16) at 14:00 at the Pleasance Attic. More details here.