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Friday, 13 March 2020

REVIEW: Once Upon A Mattress at Upstairs At The Gatehouse

Mary Rodger’s musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea is rarely revived in London, so Mark Giesser’s production of Once Upon A Mattress is welcome, but ultimately disappointing.

In a kingdom ruled by Queen Aggravain, none shall marry until Prince Dauntless The Drab finds a bride, who must pass the Queen’s test to prove she is a genuine Princess. As the show begins, Princess number 12 is found to be unsuitable, and the search continues. Enter Princess Winifred, a gutsy tomboy who arrives by swimming the moat, proving that Princesses need not fit the stereotype. The show carries a strong message, and has great subtext, but this production tends to linger on the surface, offering a two-dimensional view.
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