Grimm’s Fairer Tales
Storyteller Eden Ballantyne has a mission: To tell Grimm’s famous historic stories in the way they ‘should’ have been written, with strong female characters and comically modern plot twists. And he succeeds, with this delight of an interactive children’s show, enthralling both children and adults alike.
I saw this show on a rainy morning, but Ballantyne did not let the chilly day dampen his indomitable enthusiasm. His storytelling skill was apparent throughout, but even more important, Ballantyne understand children. He did not pressure the shyer ones to participate, or hesitate to include children of different developmental abilities as actors in his stories. It is a rare joy to observe a children’s performer who treats children as equals, and the children responded well throughout.
It is a treat to have a feminist retelling written and performed by a man; feminist values are not exclusive to women, and Ballantyne – as a man promoting a feminist retelling of stories which are childhood staples – is an excellent role model to children of all genders. The stories themselves were, in turn, funny and scary (but not too scary) and clever and diverting.
At the end of each tale, Ballantyne asked the audience if they would like to hear another story. And the resounding ‘YES!’ which burst out of both the children and their adults present was enthusiastic enough to brighten even the rainiest day.