There is nothing children like more than serious unpleasantness - and Creation Theatre Company supplies it in buckets in Tales from the Brothers Grimm.

The ghoulish activities depicted on stage have much to do with death and dismemberment, some supervised by the Grim Reaper himself.

The consumption of human flesh looms large, too, Besides the Big Bad Wolf tucking into Red Riding Hood and her granny, we have the Witch preparing to feast on hapless Hansel, and the Wicked Queen licking her lips over a spicy plateful of - as she thinks - Snow White.

Yes, the Brothers Grimm knew how to supply the shocks. Remarkable to think that the stories were first published for an entirely academic readership with an interest in German folklore!

For their hugely enjoyable Christmas production, Creation are back in the 99-year-old Mirror Tent, pitched in the car park of the BMW plant at Cowley.

Back, too, is writer and director Gari Jones, who made such a success last Christmas with Arabian Nights in the same magical setting.

With its mirrored roof and ornate decorations, the tent is itself a star of any production in which it is involved. This year it is looking nothing less than sensational, with thousands of twinkling lights adding to its charms.

These provide throughout the show a wonderful presentation of the night sky laid out above the gloomy glades and woods in which so much of the action is set.

But let me not give the impression that all is dark and depressing.

Welcome shafts of playful wit lighten Gari Jones's script and the performances of the seven hugely talented actors involved.

Thus, for example, we are offered a well-studied portrait of contemporary womanhood ("Whatever . . .") from Amy Stacy as the Miller's daughter who calls on the gold-spinning services of Rumplestiltskin.

There is much amusement too, from Richard Kidd strutting his stuff as a hunky huntsman, and Tim Crowther's streetwise Wolf.

From characters already mentioned, you will gather that the Grimms' best-known stories all figure. These are cleverly blended into the action with some less familiar tales, which despite some confusions, produces intelligible and entertaining drama.

I was particularly impressed to see so much use being made of various holes in the stage, for characters to pop in and out of. It is in the nature of the piece, however, that their function should so often be in the representation of graves.