Stepping onto the stage, our storytellers welcome the audience. They are concise, energetic and slightly mysterious – which is exactly the essence of Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall. Theatre group On Your Nerve stage a series of fairy tales with a twist, with four actors taking on a range of different characters to tell a larger story.
The actors use a variety of voices to play their multiple roles, and even without any particular change in appearance, I never once found it difficult to tell characters apart. Each of the actors brings their own lively energy to the show, delivering strong performances, and there's a lovely dynamic between them too.
They argue we are "transfixed by virtual realities" and successfully draw in the audience by highlighting modern issues behind classic fairy tales. By using stories familiar to all of us, Mirror, Mirror was able to incorporate issues around modern perception of beauty and political standpoints to their show.
With four characters, and what I presumed to be four stories to tell, just as the first three began to knit together towards a bigger plot – it ended. Each character stands for something different, whether it be wealth, beauty or eloquence, and I was expecting this formula to continue by them telling me what the fourth and final character represented; yet I feel she never had a part in this story. Instead I was left with something that only felt cryptic, and frankly amounted to a rather anticlimactic ending.
I'm disappointed because, up to that point, I found a lot of satisfaction in the way things unravelled and clicked together. The show has a lot of potential, if it only had a well-rounded finish to their story; as it is, when the performance finished I was left feeling like something was missing.
Despite that sudden ending, Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall is a satisfying, modern take on the fairy tales we all know and love. It simply left me asking for just that little bit extra.