Friday, November 13, 2009

Stage Adaptation of "Ashputtel" Begins Touring in the UK

Forest Forge Theatre Company in Hampshire (UK) has created an adaptation of Grimm's Ashputtel for the stage just in time for Christmas.

In a season when fractured fairy tales and 'panto' Cinderellas take over the stage (at least until Nutcracker season starts) it's refreshing to see the very different "Ashputtel - A Cinderella Story", based on the the Grimm's fairy tale, on offer as a Christmas family show. This one, doesn't have the extreme characters (ie. ugly sisters, often in drag) found in the panto versions but offers a different type of family-friendly story. In this production, as in the tale it's adapted from, Ashputtel has no godmother, fairy or otherwise, but there's plenty of magic...

From Salisbury Journal:

“I think Ashputtel is the best Christmas story there is and the one that fascinates me the most,” she says. “It is about identity and growing up, a real coming of age, following the seasons of the year and beginning and ending in wintertime. The story makes for a lovely family show.” (says Kristie, Artistic Director of Forest Forge)

Aschenputtel by Janaschi

Kirstie uses five actor musicians to tell Ashputtel’s story, and there isn’t a fairy in sight. Ashputtel plants a twig by her mother’s grave that grows to become a magic tree that cannot be chopped down (Edit FTNH: and showers Ashputtel with marvelous ball dresses). “The magic of the story is that the tree is her mother looking out for her,” says Kirstie. “It really is a beautifully inventive tale.”

You can read the whole article HERE.

I'm curious to see the response to this version of Cinderella (did I read about puppet knives, toes and heels in the Director's blog? The knives, toes and heels are probably just props, but still, not your average prop list for a family show!) and I'd love to see how the seasons work in. Unfortunately I don't think Forest Forge have enough funding to attempt overseas tours (yet). Perhaps I'll get lucky and someone will film it...

The Forest Forge Theatre Company website HERE also has the interesting Director's blog I mentioned, in which she writes/reflects on the development of "Ashputtel - The Cinderella Story" and the rehearsal process. You can read the blog HERE.Forest Forge started their tour this week on the 12th of November and will continue touring until January 16th, 2010. You can find more information about where they will be performing HERE.
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