Fringe preview: A Pocketful of Grimms
Award-winning company Story Pocket Theatre returns with classic storytelling
This article is from 2015.
Two centuries after Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm first found that people were interested in their stories, that interest shows no sign of waning. Their prolific outpourings have been adapted the world over, with Story Pocket Theatre the latest company to discover the tales’ theatrical potential.
‘The Grimm Tales have lasted because they are great stories, it’s as simple as that,’ says producer Alison Beattie. ‘They’re full of magic, adventure, right versus wrong (and right doesn’t always win) with characters that appeal to everyone: princesses, witches, kings, mythical creatures, beggars, heroes, villains.’
Back at the Fringe, after its award-winning 2014 debut, Arabian Nights, the Hampshire-based company had its work cut out deciding which stories to select.
‘The richness and vast variety of the Grimm Brothers’ collection meant it took ages to reduce more than 200 stories to the five or six we chose,’ says Beattie. ‘We needed a balance of dark, silly, romantic, adventurous and downright odd. We also thought it was important to mix the well-loved stories with those that people may not know at all.’
Back in 1812, when the Grimms made their publishing debut, the stories were less sanitised and more adventurous than today’s versions. So when Story Pocket began rehearsing, it was to those original collections they turned. And, when it came to designing the show, they also knew where to turn – back to the team who helped make the hugely imaginative Arabian Nights (which also returns this year) such a roaring success.
‘We’ve kept the same design and production team for this show so that the strengths of Arabian Nights will be brought forward into A Pocketful of Grimms,’ says Beattie. ‘And we’re very excited about the set, which will help us transform from castle to forest and from humble cottage or the ocean in the blink of a storyteller’s eye.’
Gilded Balloon, 622 6552, 8–31 Aug (not 18, 24), 12.30pm, £8--£9 (£6--£7). Previews 5–7 Aug, £5