New Breed, Grimm

Review in Issue 6-3 | Autumn 1994

Grimm drew on two lesser known fairy tales, The Old Man Made Young Again and The Maiden Without Hands. The unusual choice of these tales was echoed by the company’s subversive approach to the telling of the fairy story. As we entered the space we were seduced by the beautifully designed set – the recreation of a forest. Tree trunks swayed gently along two sides of the space, elegantly framed by the white walls of the Centre. Such gentle seduction, however, was constantly undercut and turned on its head – allowing a harsher reality to creep through. This edge was not just present in the performers’ actions (bursting through a tub of milk, a gentle balletic dance with bound hands) but was delicately wound into the interpretation of these fairy tales. The performance traced the performers’ own relationship to these stories, examining the role of the disabled in the tale, identified as the ‘strange creatures’ of folk-lore banished to the woods. For New Breed, the woods became a source of freedom, rather than desolation and a source of play, not only in their captivating performances but also via the structure of the piece. The narrative was intricately woven together forcing the audience to appreciate its complexity. If there is a polemic in the work of New Breed, it was here, coaxing us to reconsider the implicit hidden politics of the fairy tale and to see the stories from another side for a change.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 1994

This article in the magazine

Issue 6-3
p. 23