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AN adventure into the classics is on offer for kids during the holidays when The Actors Co-Operative, in association with Rhumbelow Theatre, stage Tales from the Brothers Grimm.
Written and directed by Garth Anderson, and starring Robyn Hailey Wells, the show is a celebration of the wonderful fairy tales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. These include the tales of Ashputtel, who is today known as Cinderella, Little Red Cap (Red Riding Hood) and Rumplestiltskin.
Anderson said after presenting children’s theatre for many years (at the Durban Botanic Gardens and also touring primary schools) he wanted to “engender” into young South Africans a love of the arts and of literature: “I had used South African history, in my play The Minerva Children, and traditional fairy stories, and children really enjoyed those plays. Then I read a review that praised an English theatre company for presenting Grimms’ fairy stories in a way that present-day youngsters could understand them.
“‘A-Ha!, I’d like to try that!’ I thought… and I did. I used contemporary South African language to bring the stories and their meanings and morals, if they have any, to Durban kids. It was immediately embraced by Mzansi families. I played to many full house seasons in Bot Gardens,” he said.
The tales are presented by Wells and she acts all the characters too.
“She has great fun playing sweet little girls; evil, predatory wild animals; strange, menacing old elves; and all the wonderful Brothers Grimm characters. The kids are enchanted.”
Anderson said the play had been carefully produced so that it attracts people of many ages. “Youngsters from about the age of four enjoy Robyn’s telling of the tales and the simplicity of the stories. Kids up to the age of about 12 love the excitement and drama. And even adults have been accounted for, because we occasionally use sly little jibes that make them laugh with older, more mature understanding.”
• The show runs from Saturday to July 14. Tickets: R50 at Computicket or phone 081 384 5706.