ED2014 4/5 Reviews ED2014 Children's Shows Reviews

Under The Erl Tree (Turn The Key Productions)

By | Published on Saturday 23 August 2014

If you are not familiar with it, Erl King is a term for the king of the fairies, or king of the elves, which has variously found its way in to literary culture, not least via Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’. This all-female company tell a fantasy tale of three step sisters’ battle with this supernatural entity, capably taking on multiple roles each, and conveying the story in an accessible and engaging way, particularly for older children. I don’t think it’s just my angry-feminist self reading into this a subtext of women sticking together and sticking it to the men, but a) if that is an intention, it’s an admirable one, given the misogyny still latent in so many stories aimed at young people and b) if not, this is still a great story, with the message that you don’t have to be blood related to form a tight family unit.

theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Caro Moses]