19 Tory St, Wellington

12/02/2016 - 14/02/2016

NZ Fringe Festival 2016 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

What if bad guys really wanted to be good guys? Perhaps the storybook villains we all love to hate are merely “Misunderstood”! Suitable for all ages, adults and kids alike will get to pick their villain and make choices throughout the story to alter the villain’s fate. Audiences will leave with a different view of the “bad guys” they thought they knew and singing the ridiculously catchy tunes.

This show gives a fun insight into heroes and villains and showing that not every person is just “bad” or “good”. Misunderstood cleverly and comedically tackles themes such as inner beauty, loneliness and playing fairly and sheds light on how to kindly and positively handle negative situations and inner conflict. 

Each show has 12 different ways it could turn out and numerous popular fairytale characters to see. Villains presented in this showing are most likely The Wicked Queen from Snow White, Rumplestiltskin and Captain Hook.

Performed by the creators and original cast, Laura Irish, Daniel Allan and Isaac Thomas, originally performed as a part of Body in Space Theatre Company.

“Maybe I could change my ways. 
 Maybe I could change my fate. 
 Maybe I could be the Hero of my tale…
 Maybe I could… But I’m Misunderstood.”

*Misunderstood is more silly than scary.

17 Tory St, Te Aro, Wellington
12 & 14 Feb, 5pm & 7pm
13 Feb, 2pm 
45 min
BOOKINGS: fringe.co.nz TICKETS: free/koha

Theatre , Musical ,

A fun subversion of tales we know well

Review by Henrietta Bollinger 14th Feb 2016

At the entrance to 17 Tory Street my friend and I are greeted by a cheerful fairy in full wings and tutu, child’s birthday style, who leads us through to our seats for Misunderstood the Musical. We sit down and are told by a gleeful Rumpelstilksin in small, green cap waistcoat and buckled boots that there are technical difficulties.

A stunt or not, this introduction sets the scene for a show and cast who are responsive to their audience, each other, the general mood, taking anything that happens in their stride.

This kind of flexibility is an absolute necessity given that the show the young Nelson based Ravenhorse team – Laura Irish, Daniel Allan and Isaac Thomas – has chosen to present is described as an improvise ‘pick-a path musical’. Borrowing largely from the pop-culture versions of three classic stories – Peter Pan, Snow White, and Rumpelstiksin – the show is a fun subversion of tales we know well.

We learn through song to consider what might be possible if the villains of the tales chose to become the heroes of the tales. Catchy lines from the telling I see are: “Me and my bad guy ways” and the rap “what if the good guys wanna be bad guys, yeah”.

We are deftly guided through a selection of twelve possible tellings of the villains’ paths to self-improvement. At each juncture there is a quiet piece of audience interaction. The options are presented and voted on through a raise of hands and I am reminded of Circa Theatre’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Though this production is considerably more lo-fi it is very watchable. I think this can be mostly credited to the chemistry and energy of the actors and their willingness and commitment to go where the story takes them.

An undertaking like this also requires an enthusiastic audience, which they have in us. I am disappointed on their behalf that as an audience where no one under twenty is present, we are still the youngest audience of ‘children’ the troop has had.

Children’s theatre and storytelling is a difficult thing to pull off as it is often loaded with ideals and morals about how children should see the world. Turning these tales on their heads and subverting the good-guy-bad-guy idea, is simple and effective.

My one problem with the presentation of the character’s presentation is the use of drag. We are presented with Snow White as a ditsy girl-played by a man. Through I think this arises out of necessity rather than any kind of attempt to belittle anyone, I would have hoped the young creatives would have been beyond the simplicity of that humor.

Otherwise, I would highly recommend it as a bite-sized introduction to Fringe Theatre.  


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