Grimm tales

13 Sep

On the way to Grimm Tales last night, I stopped off for a drink with a friend at a little atmospheric bar.  Glass of wine in hand, he leaned towards me in the soft light, and said that I reminded him of ……an Old Testament wisdom writer.

I don’t care what people say, I don’t think anyone looks good in mood lighting.

Feeling as old as Methuselah, I arrived at TAP Gallery, and was uplifted.

Grimm Tales is a collection of the stories of the Brothers Grimm engagingly adapted by Carol Ann Duffy and Tim Supple. The directors of this production, Sepy Baghaei and Ava Stangherlin, have created a show that’s inventive and fun. The cast deliver vibrant performances.

The Grimm Brothers were not wisdom writers. They were collectors. Fired by nineteenth century romanticism and its insight that in a radically changing world much was about to be lost, they collected European folk tales. Despite the sanitized versions most of us know, the original stories (and here we get something much closer to the original) are wild old things; violent, passionate and (many would argue) morally dubious.

The received wisdom is that stories, all stories, are our attempt to impose meaning on the otherwise random nature of Life. They are attempts to force Life to fit.

But I left last night’s production musing on exactly what it is that stories do. To say they impose meaning is such a violent image, and one that reveals bad faith about the great human experiment. Sure, the subject matter of stories may be violent, but is story making itself violent? Spiders spin, birds sing and we tell stories. Are our stories a battle against Life? Or are they our natural birth right?

Veronica Kaye

Grimm Tales

Adapted by Carol Ann Duffy and Tim Supple

TAP Gallery til Sat 15th

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