About us > Past productions > 2011/12 > The Wild Bride
The Wild Bride draws heavily from Grimm’s fairy tales and early 20th-century American folk music. Enrich your theatrical experience by delving into these subjects. Our literary department offers the following resources.
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A signature part of Kneehigh’s aesthetic is their use of original music in their productions. The following artists and compilations either inspired or have a similar sound to the songs in The Wild Bride. The list of fantastic blues and folk artists stretches longer than the Mississippi, but these are some good places to get started.
Robert Johnson—The Complete Recordings: The Centennial Collection (audio CD)
- The opening song in the show, “Crossroads,” draws inspiration from the Robert Johnson lyrics. Johnson is a celebrated blues musician from the early 20th century who, it is rumored, made a deal with the devil for his unearthly talents.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (audio CD)
- A Coen Brothers film (2000) set during the Great Depression in Mississippi based on the story of Odysseus. It uses a mixture of bluegrass, folk and gospel music, and one of the subplots makes a nod to the Robert Johnson legends.
The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, translated and with an introduction by Jack Zipes, illustrated by John B. Gruelle
- Jack Zipes is one of the foremost fairy-tale scholars in the world, who has written extensively on the Brothers Grimm and their work. Though many of us are familiar with the more popular, Disney-fied versions of old favorites like “Snow White” and “Cinderella,” the originals are oftentimes shockingly different, and the brothers’ collection extends far beyond these well-known classics.
Off with Their Heads!: Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood by Maria Tatar
- Maria Tatar, another folk-tale scholar, examines how certain stories have changed over time to suit varying social conventions. Many tales that began their lives as bawdy adult entertainment slowly evolved into cautionary, moralistic lessons for children during the Victorian period.
Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales by Jack Zipes
- From the back of the book: “In seven provocative essays, Zipes discusses the importance of investigating oral folk tales in their socio-political context and traces their evolution into literary fairy tales, a metamorphosis that often diminished the ideology of the original narrative.”
The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim
- A seminal text in the Jungian approach to fairy tales, Bettelheim argues that raising children with these sometimes politically incorrect stories is vital for the psychosexual/logical development, for it teaches children to deal with conflicts in their own lives and to find meaning in their experiences.
Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
- One of the resources used in the production of The Wild Bride. It includes a chapter on how the story of “The Handless Maiden” can help women to become more in touch with their wilder nature. As a Jungian, Estés holds that fairy tales and stories in general can be a way for listeners to connect with their emotions in a deeper, more instinctual fashion.
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
- A collection of feminist retellings of classic fairy tales with a dark and brutal edge.
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