Rumpelstiltskin spins gold with UK premiere season

London’s iconic Southbank Centre to present Windmill Theatre Co and State Theatre Company South Australia’s Rumpelstiltskin in Queen Elizabeth Hall as centrepiece 2018 Christmas show.

It started in Adelaide, now Windmill and State Theatre Company’s award-winning family musical Rumpelstiltskin is set to bedazzle audiences in London.

Rumpelstiltskin, which premiered at the Dunstan Playhouse in 2016 to rave reviews and sell out performances, will play a four-week season in the 915-seat Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. Thousands of people are expected over the 30-performance season, which runs from 13 December 2018 to 6 January 2019.

Premier Steven Marshall said, ‘It is really pleasing to see bold and inventive work, developed right here in South Australia, go on to play in front of audiences across the world.’

Starring Australia’s ‘King of Cabaret’ Paul Capsis, Julianne O’Brien and Rosemary Myers’ stage version of the Brothers Grimm fairytale Rumpelstiltskin has been described as ‘one of the most groundbreaking shows’ by the Guardian and ‘sensational’ by The Australian. The production won Best Show – Musical/Opera at the 2017 Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Awards and was nominated for two 2017 South Australian Ruby Awards, including Best Work.

Windmill’s Artistic Director and Director of Rumpelstiltskin, Rosemary Myers remarked, ‘This is such fantastic recognition for our artists and our respective companies. We had lots of fun making this work, with all its slapstick one-liners, pop culture references and rock-inspired musical tracks – seeing these feature as part of the Christmas pantomime season in London is pretty special.’

Senior Programmer for Performance and Dance at Southbank Centre, Rupert Thomson added, ‘At its best, theatre pushes the limits of what we think of as possible – wonder, excitement, spectacle and mischief can have such an impact on the audience. This wonderful adaptation of the Rumpelstiltskin story masterfully achieves all these things and more, in a spectacularly visual production we are delighted to be premiering for UK audiences at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.’

The London run follows the successful tour of both companies’ previous family musical collaboration Pinocchio, which played on New York’s 42nd Street in 2015.

Windmill has established a solid reputation as a major producer of new theatre for children, teenage and family audiences. In recent years, the company has become one of Australia’s leading exporters of arts and culture to the world, having delivered 225 live theatre performances across 46 cities in 2017.

State Theatre Company made its London debut in 2016 with Frantic Assembly co-production Things I Know To Be True. Finishing its third run in February, the production enjoyed standing ovations and five-star reviews on its four-month long UK tour and second month-long season at London’s Lyric Hammersmith.

State Theatre Company’s Executive Director and Producer Jodi Glass said, ‘There’s enormous pride for both companies about performing in the Southbank Centre in London. It’s such an iconic venue, and such an iconic time of year. International tours like this can take some time to negotiate and the words “White Christmas” kept us quite focused! We’re pretty thrilled that 2018 began in London with Things I Know To Be True and will close in London with Rumpelstiltskin.’

Rumpelstiltskin’s London debut is the result of a meeting between Windmill Executive Producer Kaye Weeks, former State Theatre Executive Producer Rob Brookman and Southbank Centre Performance Programmer Rupert Thomson, who met as part of the Arts South Australia Made in Adelaide Edinburgh delegation in 2016. The details of the tour have subsequently been brokered by Kaye Weeks and State Theatre Executive Producer Jodi Glass.

Tickets are on sale now at The international season of Rumpelstiltskin is supported by Roger and Helen Salkeld, and Creative Partnerships Australia.

By Jordan Archer

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