Red: A modern twist on the timeless fairy tale is coming to Romford’s Brookside Theatre
PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 February 2020
Red is a modern musical take on the age-old fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, coming to Romford’s Brookside Theatre.
A troupe of travelling Gypsies gather around a camp fire by the edge of a dark wood to tell stories.
The sound of wolves howling from deep within the forest leads them to tell the timeless story of a mysterious girl who wore a red hood.
With different twists and versions of the age-old story amalgamated into the plot, the troupe alternate from their original characters to characters from Little Red Riding Hood.
Harri Sepple is directing the show and always works in a team with her husband Jai Sepple, the resident director of Brookside Theatre.
In fact, Harri tells of how on her first date with Jai, he wooed her by playing her the sound track to Red.
The couple have a close friendship with the musical's writer, Paul Boyd, who wrote the musical 20 years ago, but it has only been shown three times.
Harri said: "We believe in staying closely to how he sees the show, but we had permission to make a few tweaks with regard to the publicity, trailer and photos."
The duo plan and put together all the shows they work on as a duo, with Harri taking the lead on this project.
Among the cast is a diversity of experience, such as Tammi Stone from Romford, who plays one the younger Gypsies as well as Red Riding Hood and recently finished a one-woman comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe, and Sam Lubkowski who has just taken on his first professional role fresh from university.
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The show is renowned for its catchy musical score, with all cast members commenting on how they were lured in by the electic screenplay.
Tammi, who trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, said: "It's so differently done, the writer wrote it as a one-off show, but it's still going all this time later.
She added: "I love how different the songs are, with many different themes from tango to country. It keeps it interesting."
The shifting roles of the characters mean that the actors have to part narrate and part sing and dance.
"There's a lot to learn, we narrate as well as play out the characters and it's done all over the music, so it's been hard to keep it flowing and have no gaps."
Sam Lubkowski, who plays a younger Gypsy, said: "It's been an incredibly enjoyable experience, the music attracted me most to the production, it's so different, with numbers from line dancing and Elvis, there's something for everyone."
Among the challenges the crew faced, building a full-size Gypsy caravan was one of them, as well as well as disappearing trees, fake snow, lots of props and different costumes to layer on as the cast change roles - quite a spectacle to look forward to.
Sam commented on how having various roles had also been challenging as well as exciting, in terms of keeping in time and "underestimating my line-learning ability!"
Written by multi award-nominated writer and composer Paul Boyd and produced by the team that made Peter Pan The Musical, Oliver! and The Canterville Ghost, the musical cleverly mixes in darker variants of the tale with the lighter children's versions, told over the centuries.
"There are some quite dark parts, it's not all jovial!" Sam commented.
The theatre's artisticdirector, Jai Sepple said: "We are truly honoured to be working on Paul Boyd's imaginary musical and bringing this future classic to the London stage. We have had as much fun working on the show - even building a full size gypsy caravan - and I know, the audience will get just as much enjoyment out of the show when they join us. Young or old, who doesn't love a good fairy tale?"
Red - The Little Red Hiding Hood Musical runs from the February 26 to February 29 2020 at the Brookside Theatre, Eastern Road, Romford. Tickets are on sale now and available online from www.brooksidetheatre.com or through the theatre box office on 01708 755775.