Guide to Bristol

The Forbidden Door

Vivienne Kennedy reviews The Forbidden Door, directed by Sally Cookson and performed by The Devil’s Violin at Tobacco Factory Theatres

On Tuesday 03 February I visited Tobacco Factory Theatres to watch The Devil’s Violin perform The Forbidden Door and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Directed by Sally Cookson, storyteller Daniel Morden leads the audience through a (slightly) grimmer than Grimm’s style fairytale, meandering in a variety of directions but always coming back to a central point. He is accompanied by musicians Sarah Moody, Dylan Fowler and Oliver Wilson-Dickson, who themselves meander through a variety of musical styles. All four are very accomplished at what they do.

I could happily have listened to either the story or the music alone, but together they are perfect and the timing absolutely spot on, each element increasing my enjoyment of the other. The show features love and loss; comedy and drama; plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing; and beautiful, beautiful music, while all the time making the audience think about the good or bad consequences of breaking the rules.

The Forbidden Door is aimed at a grown-up audience, more or less, the recommended minimum age is 12, but I doubt I was the only person for whom it evoked memories of childhood bedtime stories…and I mean that in the best possible way.

It’s easy theatre to watch, to listen to, and to enjoy, dramatic yet relaxing at the same time. They’ll be performing again at 8PM tonight and get my recommendation.

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