‘All the better to eat you with!’ – climb into bed with the wolf during Big Teeth

We’re very excited to welcome new show ‘Big Teeth’ to our venue The Brick Box Rooms in Bradford on 5-7 July. The show is for two people at a time, and last for 30 minutes, so book your tickets as soon as you can to guarantee your slot. 

In the meantime, we asked the show’s creator, Elizabeth Dearnley, to tell us a little bit more about what you can expect from this immersive bedtime story…

A red-cloaked girl. A ravenous wolf. A house in the woods. The key ingredients of the Red Riding Hood story have remained constant over the centuries – but have been retold in many different ways. Does Red Riding Hood escape? Is she to blame for getting eaten? And how does the wolf feel about his role in the story? A new show coming to Brick Box in July, Big Teeth, invites audiences to explore these ideas – and retells the well-known fairy tale as you’ve never heard it before…

Big Teeth is an immersive retelling of Red Riding Hood, set in a shadowy postwar London during the long, cold winter of 1947. Entering the show in pairs, audience members are invited to step into the bedroom of young waitress Ruby Hunter, get into bed together, and listen to an apparently familiar tale unfold from crackling bedside radios. But there’s always more than one side to every story. What really happened? And how well do we ever know the people we get into bed with?

As an artist and folklorist whose work centres around fairy tales, I’m fascinated by the way traditional stories are passed on and evolve – and how these reflect the society we live in. The story of Red Riding Hood has been told in a number of different ways, usually depending on how the teller wanted to portray Red Riding Hood (and, by extension, any young girl attempting to make her way through a world of wolfishly predatory men): is she an unwary innocent? A foolish girl, straying from the path, who deserves what happens to her? Or can she outwit the wolf (as this French version suggests)?

I wanted to write a show which allowed Red Riding Hood to tell her side of things, and which used the story as a way of thinking about sexual consent and the dangers of ‘fairy tale’ relationships – issues which remain highly relevant in the age of #MeToo. By following the stories of Ruby and glamorous older actor Stephen, audiences are encouraged to smash the patriarchy through the responsible consumption of fairy tales – while encountering resourceful waitresses, snow, seedy Soho pubs, suspiciously delicious pies, and a Cole Porter song or two along the way…

Big Teeth is a show for two audience members at a time, lasting about 30 minutes – you can experience it with someone you already know, or book with a stranger (each is a great way to see the show)! It’s running between 5 and 10 on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th July, and between 2 and 10 on Saturday 7th July – book your timeslots here.

You can also try your hand at creating your own fairy tales in a storytelling workshop I’m running on the afternoon of 7th July – we’ll explore some of the surprising hidden histories behind familiar stories, and cook up some brand new tales for 2018.

As someone from Bradford myself (I grew up in Baildon, and am now based in London), I was really excited to have the chance to bring Big Teeth back home. And I’m over the moon to be staging the show in the incredible Brick Box Rooms, the former home of legendary Bradford pie shop Phillip Smith & Co. – I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect space! We’ll be serving pies and pickles behind the bar after the show, too, so make sure to sample some…

Playful and provocative, Big Teeth is an uneasily intimate storytelling experience. Expect red cloaks, wolves, and exceptionally tasty pies.

You can get tickets for the show here, and tickets for the workshop here.