Fairy Tale

2006, 40 mins

A new work for 6-8 year olds

Far away in a deep, dark wood, a pair of mischievous, battling sisters have created a magical world from other people’s junk. With no-one to tell them to tidy up or go to bed, the sisters spend their days and nights building mad inventions, playing cruel tricks on each other and falling in and out of trouble.

Blending physical theatre, movement and puppetry, Fairy Tale is a dark and delightful production, full of love, laughter and the odd disaster, tailor made for children aged 6-8 years and their families. Full of surprising twists and turns, Fairy Tale enchants both young and older audiences alike.

A series of workshops for children and their parents, guardians and teachers accompanied this production.

Fairy Tale was commissioned by the Nuffield Theatre Lancaster and Danceworks UK,  funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales and Awards for All and supported by the Foyle Foundation.

To order a DVD copy and accompanying contextualising pack, please contact the VDT office.



Director's Notes

Introduction to Fairy Tale
By Charlotte Vincent

Opowiedz mi ta historie….
Dawno, downo temu…Once upon a time …dwie siostry….two sisters ….mieszkaly daleko, daleko stad…. lived in a place far, far away,
Where there are pillows on the bed, poduszki
Where shoes fit your feet, tak buty
Where there are cakes, ciasto ha, ha ha…
Where there are cows, hmmmyy
Where the shadows are friendly, cienie
Where there are red cherries that fall from the trees, and you step on them and you squash them, and the juice gets stuck between your toes and it feels like jam!
Where…. there is a river you can swim in, … rzeka
Where you can run for miles, and miles and miles,
Where there is always someone to look after you,
Where you always have company,
Where you don’t have to worry about anything,
Where the stars shine brightly in the sky,
And the moon looks over us as we sleep.

Vincent Dance Theatre’s Associate Artist TC Howard and I discussed the concepts for Fairy Tale following the making of Punch Drunk in 2004. Drawing heavily on TC’s practice as a dancer whose teaching practice spans 20 years FAIRY TALE was designed to consolidate and develop  TC’s experience leading multiple projects with young people as Ludus Dance Company’s education officer, running workshops with street children in third world countries whilst working with the David Glass Ensemble as well as capitalise on her unique delivery of large and small scale intergenerational participation dance projects including Dansopolis and Bridlington Waltz.

The foundation of this new work was the exploration of ‘play’ and the strong, comical relationship that existed between TC and Polish performer Aurora Lubos in VDT’s 2004 production Punch Drunk. Described as ‘tiny, dynamic battling elves’ in one press review, TC and Aurora developed a twin attachment with each other that is innocent, mischievous and revels in a kind of fierce rivalry. The development and creation of Fairy Tale aimed to delve further into this relationship through improvisation and play, and initially involved a third adversary figure to shake things up between them.

To play is to unleash an immediacy of an experience whilst allowing a safe passage back to the known order of things. Play is always improvisational and challenges embedded ways of thinking, making us act in new and surprising ways. Children enjoy repetition, exploring the victories, triumphs and anxieties over and over again with total immersion and intensity when they play, and through play gain an understanding and possession of themselves and their world. Children (and actors) often play in ways that are frightening to them in order to summon up and control the things that disturb them most. (Andrew Quick : Not Even A Game Anymore; The Theatre of Forced Entertainment, edited by Judith Helmer and Florian Malzacher).

Research and development took place for two weeks in Sheffield in April 2005. The full production was created over 4 weeks in April 2006 at Sheffield Independent Film by Patrycja Kujawska and Aurora Lubos with a production week at the Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster. Fairy Tale premiered on 5th May 2006 at the Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster, co-directed by TC Howard and Charlotte VIncent.

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