The puppet show that was presented by The Flying Box Theatre from Montreal last weekend in Sharbot Lake, Perth and McDonalds Corners features a related set of German Fairy Tales. The show is called Hans Dudeldee and Other Forgotten Fairy Tales and the story behind the story is quite interesting.
We’ve all heard of the Grimm brothers who collected children’s stories and passed them out to the masses. Cinderella ring any bells? I doubt as many of you have heard of Xaver Von Scönwerth however. The eighteenth century historian spent much of his life collecting folklore in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz. Despite their overshadowing success, the Grimm brothers felt inferior to Scönwerth’s method of collection and told King Maximilian II of Bavaria that the only person who could replace them was Von Schönwerth. This was because, unlike the Grimm brothers, Schönwerth did not doctor the tales in any way. Due to this among other factors, the complete 500-story collection had been long lost and forgotten for 150 years.
Last year, the cultural curator of Oberpfalz, Erika Eichenseer, published a selection of fairy tales from
The Scönwerth Collection that she had discovered while leafing through archives in Reegensburg, Germany, where they had been left dormant. In 2008, Eichenseer helped to found the Franz Xaver Von Schönwerth Society, an interdisciplinary committee devoted to analysing his work and publicizing it. It is Eichenseer’s goal to translate the 500-some tales into English with the help of Munich-based English Translator, Dan Szabo. The Flying Box theatre has taken on the mission of presenting these tales for the very first time in English, and boy do they do it well.