Review: The Frog Prince (Jarrott Productions)

A digital audio play taking The Frog Prince for inspiration, but rated R for “language and adult situations”, is the latest show from Jarrott Productions of Austin, Texas.

Dan Caffrey has written a fun take on the much-loved fairy tale but has given it a bit of a cheeky twist. David R Jarrott directs this show which definitely isn’t for the little ones – “it views the classic story through the lens of witchcraft, sex pests, issues of consent, and performative vulnerability.”

The six-strong cast are a lot of fun: Jacqui Calloway makes a smashing Princess with Toby Minor gives a very funny performance as the “strange amphibian” Frog Prince; Rupert Reyes and Karen Jambon are the King and Queen, he’s a softie and she’s a real tough cookie in a crown; and Beau Paul is a neat manservant as Harry, with Janelle Buchanan is in fine form as the wise sorceress Baby Yaga.

Promotional image for The Frog Prince

The Frog Prince is a bit much as he tries to snare the Princess – he’s just “a nice guy”, after all. She’s set to put him right in his place, and while her dad cries enough to get the Queen damp under the collar, he just battles with the froggy “sleephopping”.

With a script that oozes suggestive puns, as well as addressing the quite troubling premise that an animal that once was human might take advantage of its size and vulnerability to cross a behavioural barrier, The Frog Prince looks at the fanaticism of fairytales.

If you are familiar with the collections assembled by Angela Carter, you will know that these myths and tales are often given a sexual or erotic tinge, and such is true of this audio play, as it addresses some difficult topics in an amusing and immersive way, with a touch of music as it goes.

You can stream The Frog Prince here until the end of August – free to listen to but donations encouraged.