Rolan Bell (Photo: Matt Humphrey)
Rolan Bell (Photo: Matt Humphrey)

Olivier nominee leads Park’s Rapunzel

Published October 16, 2015

Olivier Award nominee Rolan Bell will lead the cast of the Park Theatre’s “surreal and wacky” take on Rapunzel this Christmas.

Bell, who was nominated at this year’s awards for his role in West End hit Memphis The Musical, will play King Gerard in the Finsbury Park venue’s festive family treat from 3 December to 2 January opposite Aretha Ayeh as the show’s titular follicly blessed heroine.

The third annual Christmas show from the venue to be set in the theatre’s imagined land of Waa, Rapunzel will transport audiences to a mythical world where the King and Queen of Püss Püss are looking forward to the birth of their first child.

When disaster strikes and the Queen falls ill, only a powerful herb known as Rapunzel can save the mother and child. The noble Baron Teth offers to locate the herb, but the witch who grows it has her price and darkness falls across the land as the child is snatched away. 

18 years on and Prince Corbyn – we couldn’t possibly speculate whether he bears any relation to a certain divisive political leader –  rides through the forest, only to hear singing from an isolated tower suggesting that perhaps all is not as it first seemed.

Jez Bond, who as well directing the show has written the book, music and lyrics, offered a sneak insight into the vision for the show, explaining: “With each fairy tale set in the mythical land of Waa, we have created a world all of our very own complete with a unique language gestures and greetings – it even has its own flora and fauna! Costumes and settings all add to create this land, which borrows more from Tolkien, Pratchett or Tim Burton than from a traditional English pantomime. We’ve also dispensed with pop songs so common across UK theatres during Christmas and instead each year present an original musical theatre score.”

Bell and Ayeh will be joined in Rapunzel by a cast including Mark Cameron, Alex Hope and Avita Jay.