The Mayor’s gala performance of A Pocketful of Grimms
This year Chippenham’s mayor is hosting a charity gala performance supporting The Rise Trust of fantastic childrens theatre in Chippenham. The performance will be a magical family showing of A Pocketful of Grimms. Let the storytellers from Story Pocket Theatre whisk you away to a land of fables and wonder to explore some of the favourite fairy tales ever told. Featuring Hansel and Gretel, the original Beauty and the Beast, Rumpelstiltskin and others. Book your tickets here
Ahead of the gala performance we thought we would find out a bit more about the show so we asked Adam Fletcher-Forde, one of the founder members of the company, a few questions…
When did Story Pocket Theatre begin?
The company formed late in 2013. Several years before that when Alison Beattie, Jules Black and myself were working for the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre in Guildford, we had talked about making professional theatre for families and we worked for a year or two to get things together. Our first show was Arabian Nights which opened in March 2014 and has been performed all over the country and abroad ever since.
How did you choose the stories you are going to include in A Pocketful of Grimms?
I read almost all of the stories – it was a massive task! There were a few very well-known ones that we wanted to look at – Hansel and Gretel and Rumpelstiltskin among others. I was also very keen to use the original stories rather than modern interpretations and so some of them surprised me. We all know Beauty and the Beast but the original Lily and the Lion takes the story much further so I thought I’d like that one, too. I originally adapted about 10 of the stories so that we could cut them down. In fact the shape of the show didn’t fully emerge until a few days into rehearsals and several stories were in, then out and then back in again. So with those we don’t use at the moment, perhaps we could do Another Pocketful of Grimms in the future…
What is Story Pocket Theatre’s favourite story?
That’s a hard one. Lily and the Lion is a moving story of love, loyalty, magic, faith and good against evil – it’s beautiful. But I think everyone’s favourite is The Bird, the Mouse and the Sausage which is a short but sweet feast of extreme silliness. I also love the shortest one of all, The Golden Key, which tells of a boy who finds a key and opens a box. That’s the whole story but it is absolutely the centre of all the stories as, for us, the box holds all the stories ever told and it’s only when the imagination runs out that the box will ever be empty.
What does Story Pocket Theatre like most about the Grimm Fairy tales?
There is such an enormous variety of subjects in the stories and it’s probably just that which we like so much. You can laugh, cry and be shocked, a little frightened and completely delighted and surprised every time you dip in to the collections. The stories are more than 200 years old and yet they are always fresh being adapted into modern situations for stage, TV and film and so they will last forever.