Grim(m) Tales of the Woods - Free

One cannot help but feel , when offered lesser-known tales from the Brothers Grimm, that there is probably a reason that they are not so popular. Probably the characters are less memorable, and the plots less engaging. This impression is, it seems, essentially accurate. Fitcher’s Bird, The Three Army Surgeons, Mother Trudy; none of them have the immediate appeal of a Snow White or a Sleeping Beauty. Perhaps this is because they are less internally coherent, with too many disparate elements. Some of them, for example, seem to contain too many distinctive features to hang together satisfactorily, with talking trees, magical birds, parental abuse and cannibalism all crammed together in the same short piece.The element which all these stories share, in abundance, is violence. Dismemberment is a running theme, and in this Anna Lehr and Louisa Thornton, the only two members of Louna Productions, take evident delight. At one point the performance area is vigorously littered with fragments of bloody ribcage, fake blood is spread liberally, and they make good use of a large butcher’s knife. Somewhat strangely, quite elaborate props, like the bones, are juxtaposed with mime. This is well-executed but, being only partially applied, seems odd. The atmosphere is enhanced by the matching tracht and dark eye makeup which the two women wear, and by a snatch of, sadly under-used, German folk-singing. The physicality is one of the real selling-points: although neither of them are dancers, their movements are bold and help in large measure to animate their characters.In the end, however, while their acting is very good and the piece is well-performed, neither of them achieve the tone and rhythm which storytelling of this kind requires. It seems at times like they are forgetting their words, and certainly it does not seem an entirely assured production. It will not, ultimately, be enough to establish these lesser-known tales as popular favourites.

The Blurb

If you go down to the woods today, be sure of a grim surprise... Re-telling the Brothers Grimm’s darkest tales, this spine-tingling and hilarious storytelling experience is for grown-ups only!