Where Do Fairies Come From?

Aug 8 2019 | By More

★★★☆☆     Fun fairy facts

Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152): Fri 2– Sat 17Aug 2019
Review by Hugh Simpson

There is a relaxed and welcoming air to Where Do Fairies Come From? at Paradise in Augustines that makes for an ideal morning’s entertainment.

TypeCast Productions’ blend of theatre and storytelling features three characters familiar from Shakespeare whose ‘fairy embassy’ attempts to set the record straight about their species.

Ash Alexander, Isaac Allen and Danielle Farrow. Pic Typecast

Titania (Danielle Farrow), Oberon (Ash Alexander) and Puck (Isaac Allen) are not tiny, do not have wings, and, through stories like Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer, explore the relationships between fairies and humans.

The three performers have an easy-going, empathetic connection with each other, and director Jamie Gould has fashioned a production that makes a remarkably coherent whole.

However, the connection between the characters’ interactions and the ‘storytelling’ parts of the show is not always as strong as it might be. The conversations between the cast are either improvised, or designed to appear so, and the transitions are not always seamless.

This is only a minor drawback at worst, with the plus side being that the production has a pleasingly homespun, inclusive air. However, it does contribute to the odd tone of the whole piece, as if no-one is quite sure what audience the show is intended for.

adult moments

The Fringe website says that it is suitable for 8 plus, and much of the material is certainly geared to a younger crowd – such as the question of whether any of the audience are in the Brownies (it is hardly the cast’s fault that none of us qualified). There are a couple of more adult moments in the stories, but nothing to frighten the horses.

Ash Alexander. Pic Typecast

Difficult concepts in the stories are explained sufficiently and economically enough to appeal to all ages but, once again, the apparently improvised sections seem designed for older audiences. However, this is not serious and could easily be tightened up in time.

What might give the piece more impact is to deal with some of the stories at greater length. The denouement of the story of Tam Lin, for example, having been set up at length, is almost thrown away. Allen’s explanation of the genesis of the Cottingley Fairies, meanwhile, has the energy and structure of a great shaggy dog story and is extremely successful as a result.

Overall, this is a pleasingly intimate and informative production that, not least in its recommendations to accept people as they are and call them by the proper names, should be welcomed.

Running time 50 minutes (no interval)
Paradise in Augustines, 41 George IV Bridge, EH11EL (Venue 152)
Friday 2– Saturday 17August 2019
Daily (not Suns) at 10.15 am
Tickets and details: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/where-do-fairies-come-from

Facebook: @typecastprod
Twitter: @TypeCastProd

Danielle Farrow. Pic Typecast


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