Back to the Woods


Albert Einstein on the Value of Fairy Tales

A concerned mother once visited Albert Einstein to get his
advice on how to help her son become really good in maths.
Exactly what was she to read for him to help him evolve into
a prominent scientist?
“Folk tales” said Einstein.
“All right” said the mother “and after that?”
“More folk tales” said Einstein.
“And after that?” the mother asked again.
“Still more folk tales” answered Einstein

2012 will be the 200th anniversary of the first publication of the ‘Children’s and Houselhold Tales’ The first collection of stories by the Brothers Grimm.

Storytellers Richard Berry and Steve Killick present a unique brand of high quality storytelling theatre.  Their entertaining new show, Back to the Woods, retells stories of The Brothers Grimm, based on the original translations.

Suitable for adults, young people and older children, the show includes classic tales such as Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel as well as some lesser-known stories.  These folk-tales are darker and more frightening than the modern versions popularised for younger children.

Between the folk tales, Richard and Steve weave narrative and song to bring to life the story of the Brothers Grimm.  Jacob & Wilhelm wanted to use their stories to create a new identity for the ancient Germanic states, these stories have now become part of our childhood imagination and heritage.

Back to the Woods is suitable for small theatres, arts and community centres.  Informal and spontaneous, with moments of humour and darkness, it can be adapted to a variety of settings, does not require amplification and can be enhanced by lighting if available.

Who were the Brothers Grimm?
Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859), are best remembered for their collection of fairy tales. Their meticulous recording of traditional Germanic folk-tales was a small part of a vast body of work; they studied literature and language and were keen to foster democracy in the ancient principalities and kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire.  They also collected folk music and wrote the first dictionaries of the German language at a time when even speaking German was considered a subversive act in the lands occupied by Napoleon.

In 1812, they published the first volume of what would be their life’s work, ‘Kinder und Hausmarchen’ (Children and Household Tales). An immediate success, the brothers collected more stories, and developed the moral content of their stories to help children learn valuable lessons. The fairy tales have become popular with children throughout the world and have become part of growing up.  Such has been the influence of the stories, that W.H. Auden ranked the collection of stories alongside The Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare in their influence of on literature.
This two hour show including a short interval, can be condensed into an hour  according to requirements.  It is suitable for children over 7, young people, adults and familes.   Richard and Steve also offer workshops and pre-performance talks.

There is an adapted version for schools.

Funding may be available through the Night Out or other Arts Council Schemes.

For further details and a full marketing pack contact:
Steve Killick
PO Box 5162, Cardiff CF5 9BH

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