When Newcastle-based choreographer Liv Lorent was a little girl, the Grimm tale of Rapunzel read like a magical-scary adventure peopled by a romantic array of characters:

a wicked witch, a handsome hero-prince, and a young girl with very, VERY, long hair - long enough to act as a ladder into the door-less tower where she was held prisoner. "I think, when you're a child, those are the elements that fix in your imagination," says Lorent. "And even though there are dark sides, you tend to remember what seems like a happy ending. But when you grow up..." There's a pause, and a wise little chuckle. Because that adult second look - and the details that now struck Lorent as harrowing - became the basis for Rapunzel, the remarkable large-scale ballet for ages 7+ that comes to Edinburgh's Festival Theatre this week.

By the time Lorent was closely re-reading Rapunzel, she had become a mother with a little boy (now aged five and big brother to an eleven-month old sister).And, as she explains, that first arrival brought a whole slew of other images, and emotional responses, into focus.

"As a child I couldn't have cared less about people who wanted a child and couldn't have one. It doesn't hit home in any sort of cognitive emotional way at that age. But then, the years go by. And a lot of women - myself, my friends, colleagues - find themselves thinking about having a child.

"For a lot of us, in the late 30s and early 40s, it's not always easy. And that heartache is there, in Rapunzel. Not just with the couple, but also with the witch. She's this lonely single woman - and getting older - who is so full of longing, she tricks them out of their baby.

"And there you have another terrible side to the Grimm story, because after the witch steals the baby - you never hear of the parents again... Nothing about their feelings of loss, or what they do to cope, or to find her. And we couldn't stop thinking about that. So in our version, we've absorbed their ongoing story into ours."

When Lorent says 'ours', she's referring to her creative co-conspirator, the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy who channeled her own passion for fairy-tales into writing a new version of the old tale. This wasn't just an outline that Lorent could take into discussions with other collaborators, or into the studio for the ballet dancers to peruse.

Duffy's words are actually integral to the ballet, delivered in an occasional voice-over by actor Lesley Sharp. Now this device is not because Lorent doesn't trust choreographed movement, or her dancers, to get under the skin of the story and then express it with every step on-stage. But her own experiences of being part of a mothers-and-children audience have definitely shaped her ideas on what works for youngsters and adults alike.

"I still can feel at a bit of a loss when there's mime in a ballet," she laughs. "You just want to know what's happening. And children - unlike adults! - will ask out loud during the performance. 'What are they doing? Why?' So we've a narrator's voice coming in to put you absolutely on track with the action."

In fact, this Rapunzel is a proper feast for eyes as well as ears. The orchestral music has been composed by Murray Gold (of Doctor Who renown) while the costume design for Rapunzel comes courtesy of Michele Clapton - yes, the Michele Clapton whose name rolls out during the credits for Game of Thrones. Lorent's partner, Ben Crompton, is an actor in the series - but she cheerfully points out no strings were pulled."He just wouldn't do it!"

So Lorent made all the necessary approaches and only after Clapton had agreed did she mention the 'Thrones' connection. You sense that her commitment to Rapunzel was echoed in her determination to assemble a dream team - it also included set designer Phil Eddolls - that could think outside the pretty-pretty box, as well as the Disney version, Tangled.

Fans of Scottish Dance Theatre will already be familiar with how Lorent's choreographies - Luxuria (2004) and Tenderhook (2007) - were an exquisite amalgum of sensory treats and teases. This Rapunzel is informed by the same visionary hot-bed that is Liv Lorent's imagination.

From the locally recruited children, whose innocence and gaiety remind both wife and witch that they're childless, to the fantastical extravagance woven into the design and the genuine emotional tug of the story itself, this is a dance-piece that - like the Grimm tale that inspired it - will mean different things to different age groups but which families can definitely watch and enjoy together.

"I suppose what we've done, what I hope balletLorent always does, is make something new and honest. And something so magical that it transports audiences to another world, even as it connects them to the humanity of this one."

Rapunzel is at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre on Friday and Saturday