Fairytale show to promote reading

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 February, 2005, 12:00am

Fairytales are timeless because they not only fuel our childhood imaginations but are also reflections of human nature.

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish fairytale writer who is best known for his children's classics including The Little Mermaid and The Emperor's New Clothes, Purple Turtle Theatre Group will stage The Snow Queen at Grappa's Cellar in Jardine House in Central on February 26 and 27 at 11:30am and 2:30pm.

Director Penny Day, who will also star as the Snow Queen, said she hopes the show will spark children's interest in fairytales.

'Some of my earliest memories are of going to the library and getting out books of fairytales. They gave me a lot of joy,' said Day. 'It is sad that kids are now into computers and Gameboys and miss out on books.'

The show tells the story of the Snow Queen, who lives alone in a beautiful ice palace in the middle of the North Pole. Her only friend is a magic mirror that makes everything good and beautiful look evil and ugly in its reflection.

One day, the Snow Queen smashes the mirror in a fit of rage and kidnaps a boy called Kai in an attempt to freeze his heart. Can the heroine Gerda - Kai's brave friend - overcome all obstacles and save him?

Day said she portrays the Snow Queen as less evil than she is in the book because she wanted children to understand that no one could be perfectly good or bad.

'She [the Snow Queen] is actually just lonely. She doesn't understand how to find friends in a normal way so she kidnaps people and freezes them,' said Day.

'We want to show that forgiveness is important. People have flaws but it doesn't mean that they can't redeem themselves.'

On the other hand, Kai - originally a good character - turns into a nasty little boy once a broken piece of the magic mirror flies into his eyes. 'Even bad people are not completely bad if you see them in another way. Maybe they are just sad. Things are never that black and white. If you give them another chance or a different way of looking at things they may become better. So don't give up on people,' said Day.

In addition to its moral messages, the show is a fun, contemporary comedy. Day said there would be modern references in the show such as a 'CSI scene', in which Gerda and her grandma try to find out where Kai has gone with huge magnifying glasses.

Pop songs such as Frozen by Madonna and Kiss by Prince are also included in the show.

'Many people have heard of The Snow Queen but they don't quite know the story, which is good because it will then be completely fresh to the audience,' said Day. 'I think doing something that is not well-known will encourage kids to read more or at least to find out more.'

Tickets at HK Ticketing on 31 288 288 or visit www.chunkyonion.com.