Remember all the fairy tales from your childhood? This cheeky production aims to expose them for their patriarchy, and their gender-based stereotyping. Two fair maidens discuss, enact and shatter these popular stories, and the audience is part of the hilarious expose.
Sorcha Shanahan and Gemma Walker-Farren are the MakeyUppers. They both have lilting Irish accents, but don’t be fooled: they pack a punch and sharp wit in their performance. Each fairytale lasts about 10 minutes – we are shown Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel and Aladdin amongst others.
As each tale is explored, the repetitive themes start to surface: the objectification of women, the glamourising of chivalrous princes, the complete lack of attention to anything other than looking good. There is a fantastic rap along the way. In fact, all the song and dance is very good.
But not all parts are equally entertaining. I am not sure what the video segment adds to the storytelling, as it is not linked to any tale in particular – and it wasn't helped by technical difficulties, although the performers took it in their stride. At some points, too, the narrative boils down to predictable fairytale-bashing. This production sometimes falls into the trap of getting carried away with the criticism, and about halfway through I feel I have seen everything that is on offer.
But I am never truly bored; the excellent script, along with the music and the wonderful array of insults directed to the male characters, keeps it light and fresh. And it does truly makes you think about the content of medieval stories that children grow up on, highlighting the importance of more diverse modern storytellers.