HYDERABAD: Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, these are all stories that one hears growing up as a child. Written by the Grimm’s brothers-Jacob and Wilhelm, the stories are popularly known as Grimm’s Fairytales. The stories written in 1812 have since captured the imagination of millions around the world for generations.
Though called children’s tales, the original stories were a bit criticised for the subject matter as it veered towards adult issues and had certain sexual connotations. So in 1825, a smaller edited version was published by the Grimm’s Brothers meant for their younger audience.
Bringing these stories alive on stage is the endeavour of Udaya Bhanu Garikipati, who alongwith students of German language from Kendriya Vidyalaya one and two, Uppal will be staging two adaptations from books. The play is part of the 10-year anniversary celebrations of Goethe-Zentrum.
“The stories are pretty well-known and we have taken the most popular ones to enact on the stage – Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. Since the stories have been written by the German brothers, we thought their stories would be an ideal choice to mark the anniversary celebrations,” shares Udaya Bhanu, the founder of the theatre group Bhoomika, which was started in 1984. What’s interesting is, the students themselves have made changes to the stories as the original versions are more suited for a mature audience.
Explaining that the students themselves have taken an active interest in bringing the stories to stage, he adds, “We asked the sudents from classes 8, 9 and 10 to come up with their own modifications to the story which are more relatable. The German stories are not that alien,” And relatable they are, as the morals preached in the Indian folktales are not very different from the German stories.
As a theatre group that has been active for so many years now, the group has only now started focusing on the theatre for children. “Generally what happens is children’s issues, their world and concerns are not given that much importance by the adults. So we try to address that by highlighting their issues through the cast members of our group,” explains Uday.
The group recently organised a play for toddlers. “As you know it is very difficult to hold the attention of toddlers but we managed to succeed. It was an action cum interactive play which involved the spectators and actors,” adds Uday.