The Princess and the Sprout: Christmas fairy tales for the woke and bookish

Photo by Anthony Robling

Photo by Anthony Robling

Music, magic and mistletoe sprinkle the action of Wrongsemble’s brand new family show; a trio of fairy tales with a twist of Christmas spirit. A tight, resourceful cast put their many talents on display with happy harmonies, mischievous mouth-made foley and merry musical interludes.

Brassy, comic M.C. Rosie (Rosie Fox) draws us into the cosy performance space and introduces us to the slightly grumpy Russ (Russell Richardson – “not Scrooge, Scrudge!”), who takes pleasure in stamping ‘LATE!’ into the library returns, and the shy, timid Edith (Edith Kirkwood), who prefers to hide among the bookshelves rather than steal the stage at the Christmas party. At home on Designer Antony Jones’s perfectly-crafted teal and manilla bookcase set, the three performers glide from grinch to elf, from princess literally to sprout, with such delight that the whole audience are rapt throughout, from ages just-standing to would-prefer-to-sit-down.

Director-writer Elvi Piper’s curation of these newly-adapted stories winds classic moral messages of selflessness, gratitude and self-belief up into a fun, sweet and inviting package, leaving the “so not woke” bits behind. They tackle three tales in turn, beginning with a combo of A Christmas Carol and The Elves and the Shoemaker, moving to a delicate re-imagining of The Red Shoes and finishing with a decidedly heinous Princess and her Pea (or, sprout). With sprout farts and cowering prime ministers for the smalls and self-aware humour for the growns, The Princess and the Sprout is fifty minutes of magic guaranteed to make you giggle and your heart tingle. The script is slick and dumbs nothing down, respecting its varied audience – aimed at 3-8 year olds but welcoming to all.

Based in West Yorkshire and touring to various locations, Wrongsemble are definitely a company to catch wherever you are.

The show runs at Leeds Central Library from now until Monday 31st December. Find show times, watch the trailer and get your tickets here.

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