The Robber Bridegroom: A Grimm Fairy Tale. Photo by Barbara Zimonick.
The Robber Bridegroom: A Grimm Fairy Tale. Photo by Barbara Zimonick.

The final few minutes of Chimera Theatre’s The Robber Bridegroom: A Grimm Fairy Tale is far more chilling than the preceding 55. That’s saying a lot in this graphic adaptation of this Germany fairy tale that includes murder and cannibalism.

Using torso and head puppets strapped to their bodies, the quartet of actors manipulate their eerie appendages with surprising realism to tell this story of repressed memories. The four actors also become the show’s Greek chorus, adding a sprinkling of shadow puppetry for good measure.

The pace is languid. And while its tempo adds to the creep factor, there are great swaths of time where it is easy to disconnect.

Its final few moments are a testament to the power of theatre and even as it takes us a long time to get there, its impact is undeniable. I pitied the gentleman enlisted to assist at the top of the show, but quickly realized I was as implicit as the rest of the audience.

The Robber Bridegroom: A Grimm Fairy Tale continues at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island (1412 Cartwright St, Vancouver) as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Visit vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.