A2 Drama and Theatre Studies
By R s Warren
"The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with
many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shore less
seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-
present peril; both joy and sorrow sharp as swords. In that realm a man
may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very
richness and strangeness tie the tongue of the traveller who would report
them. And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many
questions, lest the gate should be shut and the keys be lost."
J.R.R. Tolkien, "On Fairy-Stories,"
How did your role emerge and how was it
The art of the fairy tale has been around for centuries. Their continuing
popularity indicates that there is more to them than sheer entertainment
value, that they contain a deeper meaning which touches us on some
profound level, and helps us in some way to understand or cope with the
My main role was that of the Tramp, he was the most important character
I played on a psychological level. Before we had even started the actual
scripting of the play we all knew that there would have to be some
characters that parodied those of genuine fairy tales. The tramp was one
of those characters, my first impressions of him was that he was a wise
old man, perhaps he was a wizard, but as the play progressed we created
the tramp in order to fit in with the rather dysfunctional story.
I also played a child from the two school scenes.
I created the tramp to be a similar character to Lucy, the young girl, his life
has been similar to hers, in many ways, this is made clear in his final
monologue in which real truths about his existence and hers are foretold.
In what way was the stimulus material developed through drama
"Using one or more traditional fairy tales, investigate the themes,
and produce a piece of theatre for a post 16 audience."
We had many ideas between us, maybe too many, it came to the point
where we had to look at our own views of what 'post 16' really means in
society today, could we really justify a nude version of the three little
pigs... My nightmares engulf me.
In my opinion a fairy tale is meant for any age group its all in the
interpretation, if one tries to force adult objectives into that of a fairy tale
then the true meaning of the piece will be lost. Now if you let the audience
make their own connections, then the result should be fascinating. They
will end up questioning there own moral values, because they made the
assumption that we were being rude while we may have had only innocent
The fairy tale journey may look like an outward trek across plains and
mountains, through castles and forests, but the actual movement is inward,
into the dusty old lands of the soul.
The dark path of the fairy tale forest lies in the shadows of our
imagination, the depths of our unconscious. To travel into the wood, to
face its dangers, is to emerge transformed by the experience. Particularly
for children whose world does not resemble the simplified world of
television sit-coms ... this ability to travel inward, to face fear and
transform it, is a skill they will use all their lives. We do children, and
ourselves, a grave disservice by censoring the old tales, glossing over the
darker passages and ambiguities.
It is this darkness or fear that I think is necessary to create a piece that
would be more entertaining to a post 16 audience. The rest of my group
didn't agree, so we replaced it with violence, drug abuse and anorexia
How did group skills contribute to the development of the drama?
We had one major problem in our group, each one of us, apart from Ed,
was a leader, we all had our own ideas as to how we wanted the play to