In Chris Scott’s modern take of The Erlking, the children of a small town have been disappearing.
By Jean-Paul Fournier
Originating from European folklore and myth, the Erlking is a menacing elf that lingers in forests, often described as a bearded goblin who lures little children to the land of death. And this is the inspiration for the grandiose musical of the same name.
In Chris Scott’s modern take of The Erlking, the children of a small town have been disappearing at the same time as the urban legend of The Erkling spreads. When a stranger appears offering promising incentives to children with the exchange of signing their lives away, the children start discovering that this potential for eternal damnation might be the better alternative to the world they currently exist in.
Despite the dark subject matter, The Erlking is a colourful and spirited production with a demented sense of humour. Scott’s music artfully blends elements of renaissance folk, opera, and pop rock, allowing variety while still maintaining a unified style. The cast of 12 is energetic and charming, except for the villains, who were marvellously distrainable. However, with productions as grand as this, the play did suffer from some inconsistent technical sound issues, causing some dialogue to be drowned out by the musical score.
Ambitious, daring, and with some fine-tuning, The Erlking shows great potential in attracting a cult following.