Saturday, October 30, 2010

From Struwwelpeter to Devilish Children

We've now done 2 performances of Devilish Children. (That's me behind the scary duck mask.)

I'm in the cast, which is great fun.

The show is an adaptation of rhymed fables (Der Struwwelpeter) by 19th century German psychiatrist, Heinrich Hoffman. These fables take the form of cautionary tales intended for children, in which dire consequences were visited upon misbehaving kids. The tone was humorous, and the whole thing was probably intended partly as a satire of this genre of literature.

There's a nice English version online here, with pictures.

Jeremy Menekseoglu, in adapting the work, made some major architectural changes. He remodeled some of the separate stories and made it one continuous emotional journey. A naughty 3-year old, Karl, is dropped off at an old theater, which is now being run as a sort of boarding school of good manners. But the school is run by devilish children who instruct Karl by graphically staging the scary fables. We also learn that there is more to the school, and the children, than at first meets the eye.

It's not always easy being a kid.
Everyone's always correcting you.
You have to learn to keep a lid
on so many things you'd like to do.

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