It is with considerable excitement that we announce the title of this year’s School Play – ‘The Red Shoes’ written by Hans Christian Andersen and adapted by Nancy Harris for The Gate Theatre in Dublin (2017).
The production will be presented on two evenings, Thursday the 5th and Friday the 6th of September. Tickets will be available shortly via trybooking.
Hans Christian Andersen’s original story is set against a background of conformity, in which an orphan’s passion for a pair of red shoes and the wild dancing which follows, seems like an unconscious rebellion against the environment she finds herself in. In the fairy-tale, Karen is punished for her transgression, but does she transgress at all? In many ways, the story could be read as the struggle inherent in trying to please two masters – a rigid establishment that says ‘conform’, and a counter culture that that says ‘rebel’ while ignoring the price someone powerless might pay for doing so.
Yet it’s also a story of resilience and ultimately of recovery of self, which absolutely has value for us today. After all, no one gets through life without loss, confusion or grief- we all lose our footing at times. But if fairy-tales- can teach us anything, it’s that our wounds have the potential to be our strength.
Altogether more hopeful, our production arrives at a different conclusion to the one Hans Christian Andersen might have intended, where Karen, our protagonist learns that “life’s more than luck, or chance…because you make your own fortune when you dance your own dance" through self-belief and love.
Adopting an aesthetic and stylistic approach that sits somewhere between Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, our interpretation of Nancy Harris’ modern adaptation of Andersen’s fairy tale deliberately seeks to magnify the grotesque elements and greed of human behaviour to suggest that everyone one of us has a part to play in Karen’s ascent, descent and eventual transcendence.
Happily Ever After? Well, you’ll have to wait and see…
Book your tickets now at https://www.trybooking.com/BCMQS
Mr. Jason Forrest