You may be familiar with the works of Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, but don’t let that fool you - these stories take listeners down a very different path. Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Christine Grace took inspiration from classic fairy tales to create two completely new, reimagined stories.
The author and theatre maker can’t recall a time when she wasn’t aware of the original stories. Like most of us, these characters and narratives were introduced during childhood. While Disney may have watered down and brought them into mainstream awareness, the original macabre material always interested Christine.
Christine has long been an appreciator of telling stories, noting that across all cultures, there are tales, traditions, songs.
‘Storytelling is deeply human’, she says. ‘I wanted to remain aligned with that, as it really is a fantastic tradition.’
She sought to create a timeless atmosphere reminiscent of the old days of storytelling, evoking imagery of an old woman arriving at a house, sharing tales around a table.
These retellings offer an alternate journey for the characters, and take listeners along for a riveting, immersive ride. Christine writes using voice recordings, so the magic of spoken word is never far from her mind. Her reimagined tales were written specifically for radio, and within moments listeners will be taken into a mystical new world.
Christine Grace’s reimagining of traditional tales offers humanity where previously there was little. “I wanted to offer redemption,” she says of her version of The Red Shoes. “Especially for girls… there are such controlling messages in the original, I wanted to offer some healing.” She offers a new fate for these characters while honouring the original works.
While we may not be able to attend live performances right now, these tales elicit excitement and tension as though we were seated around the table with the teller, hanging on her every word. There is no “fire and brimstone” or doomed women in these versions; nor are there doe-eyed Disney princesses. Expect the unexpected.