THE FOLK and fairy tales gathered by the Grimm brothers have entranced readers and audiences for more than 100 years and the recent movie adaptation of Broadway hit, Into The Woods, attests to the stories’ enduring appeal.
Now Galway Community Circus and Fidget Feet are teaming up to present two shows - Grimms Circus and Once Upon A Circus - which transport the fairytales into a thrilling new setting. Classic fairy tales mixed up into a deliciously dark story of wolves, witches, and the long way home. Audiences will marvel as fairies take flight in this breathtaking display of aerial dance and circus arts in this stunning youth circus spectacle.
“In Grimms Circus we will be telling about 20 of their folk tales,” producer Steve Cadwell reveals. “Our director, Lee Clayton, has decided to choose lesser known ones. There will be some our audience are familiar with, along with ones they may not have heard of before.
“Lee noticed that many of the stories have to do with change and transformation. They have a moral code, there is always a character beginning one way then going through some strange adventures and finishing the story another way. Lee felt this tied in with the experience of teenagers and our performers in Grimms Circus are aged between 12 and 20. We’ll be using these old folk tales to talk about the transformations and pressures that teenagers go through.”
Modern re-tellings of the Grimm tales sometimes downplay the darkness to be found in the originals. Grimms Circus takes that darkness on board as an integral part of the show. “Absolutely we do,” Cadwell declares. “We are introducing a new approach to our circus where we will be incorporating shadow puppetry. That creates a stark contrast of white and black, which will be offset by colourful costumes as the show progresses.
“That black and white contrast will show the darkness and intensity of the Grimms Brothers’ tales, then as the show progresses, more and more light and colour will fill the stage. We’ll also capture the humour as well, and there will be lots of movement and colour and acrobatic arts.”
The sister show to Grimms Circus is Once Upon A Circus, which will feature a cast of under-12s. “It is an hour-long show based on Hansel and Gretel,” Cadwell explains. “We will have 120 children playing all the roles, there won’t be two particular children playing Hansel and Gretel, the characters will be distributed through the group. It will be a big, exciting production.”
Grimms Circus is at the Black Box Theatre on Friday March 13 and Saturday 14 at 7.30pm. Once Upon A Circus on Saturday at 3pm. Tickets are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777 and www.tht.ie