• Germany's news in English
 

Once upon a time in Frankfurt

Published: 18 Jan 2011 16:55 GMT+01:00

Storyteller Angelika Steiger knows how to keep the attention of a difficult audience – a group of sugar-overdosed six-year-olds attending a cops-and-robbers themed birthday party.

Wearing a playful yet traditional German dress, Steiger leaned into the group with an opening story of a fairytale princess with long braids and red high heels who sat on the edge of an old suitcase and began to tell fantastic tales.

Among her repertoire was the “Queen Bee” by the Brothers Grimm. It’s the story of a simpleton who saved the day in part by refusing to let his brothers wreck a bee hive while out on an adventure. In the end, a queen bee helps the simpleton solve the riddle. The castle is saved and the simpleton marries the princess. Other tales included a rendition of “Hansel and Gretel” as well as an interactive song about 10 small mermaids.

Steiger is one of hundreds of professional and semi-professionals in Germany who maintain and develop the traditional art of storytelling.

“It’s a niche offering: away from comedy, away from the television – and back to the art of listening as nourishment for the soul,” she told The Local.

As she competes for people’s attention, Steiger says she’s trying to revive the salon culture of the 19th century one evening at a time.

Steiger’s own venue is a refitted warehouse used to welcome up to 40 guests for evenings of music, lectures, storytelling and other cerebral pleasures.

When they are not treating old and young alike to tales of other worlds, storytellers like Steiger travel the country attending conferences and training workshops to further the oral tradition. Many of their tales were first recorded by the Brothers Grimm, whose famous book will be 200 years old in 2012.

Steiger, for instance, tells stories from diverse authors at schools, kindergartens, events, parties and at her own private literature salon in Frankfurt. She’s even discussing with a pastor how he could incorporate a performance of a Bible story in a service he is planning.

It’s fitting that Steiger’s collection of stories has a strong focus on the Brothers Grimm, who lived in the village of Steinau an der Straße, not too far from Hanau.

Home to an annual Brothers Grimm summer theatre festival, Hanau is also the most southerly point on Germany’s fairytale route.

The following Frankfurt-area storytellers can be booked for private events. Many are members of the European Storytelling Society.

Frankfurt:

Agelika Steiger, 56 (German only)

Telephone: +49 (0)69 405 – 92755

Claudia König, 54

Telephone: +49 (0) 69-40 59 00 15

Pia Nestler, 52

Telephone: +49 (0) 69- 39 04 78 98

Hannelore Marzi, 68

Telephone: +49 (0)69 49 55 14

Near Steinau an der Straße:

Sarah Stein, 65 (English)

Telephone: +49 (0) 66 64 - 40 32 58, Mobile: +49 (0)178 - 14 28 537

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

00:04 January 19, 2011 by teutonic-knight
I think Grimm's fairy tales are the best
14:43 January 19, 2011 by storymann
Prufroc,,you live in Frankfurt but doubt you all those accolades ....
20:51 January 19, 2011 by michael4096
I think Disney took European storytelling as low as I ever want to see it
21:19 January 20, 2011 by teutonic-knight
@ Michael4096,

good point
Today's headlines
Constitutional Court allows 'FCK CPS' sticker

Constitutional Court allows 'FCK CPS' sticker

The Constitutional Court decided on Tuesday that it is within someone's right to freedom of expression to wear the FCK CPS logo, but only if the insult is aimed at police in general. READ  

Nepal earthquake
At least one German confirmed dead in Nepal
Search and rescue efforts are ongoing in Nepal. Photo:DPA

At least one German confirmed dead in Nepal

The Foreign Ministry confirmed to The Local on Tuesday that one German citizen was killed in the earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday. READ  

Germany may have 10m fewer people by 2060
Photo: DPA

Germany may have 10m fewer people by 2060

If low birth rates and high death rates continue as they are now, a major decline in Germany’s population is “inevitable,” the federal statistics office (Destatis) reported on Tuesday. READ  

Opinion
Germany should fear Brexit more than Grexit
British Pime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on EU membership. Photo: DPA

Germany should fear Brexit more than Grexit

With all European – and especially German – eyes on Greece, Michael Wohlgemuth asks why the EU isn't more worried about a British exit from the Union. READ  

Police shoot man dead in Rhineland-Palatinate
Photo: DPA

Police shoot man dead in Rhineland-Palatinate

A 40-year-old man died in hospital in Grünstadt, Rhineland Palatinate after being shot by police on Monday evening. READ  

Daimler hit with Greek corruption charges
German soldiers in a 'Unimog' truck made by Daimler. Photo: DPA

Daimler hit with Greek corruption charges

Greek prosecutors announced on Monday they are bringing charges against several Daimler managers, who they say were involved in multi-million euro bribes to Greek authorities. READ  

Germany's surrender order under the hammer
Admiral Dönitz (m) with Albert Speer (l) and General Alfred Jodl (r). Photo: DPA

Germany's surrender order under the hammer

Marooned on a naval base in northwest Germany, pinned down by advancing Allied forces and Adolf Hitler dead, the last leader of the Third Reich hammered out the surrender order. READ  

Merkel not yet 'Mutti' of the Twittersphere
Photo: DPA

Merkel not yet 'Mutti' of the Twittersphere

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the only G7 leader not to have a Twitter account, according to a report on the social network released on Tuesday. READ  

Kindergarten wage negotiations fail
Photo: DPA

Kindergarten wage negotiations fail

The public services union Ver.di announced on Monday evening that negotiations over a pay increase for Kindergarten teachers had failed. Strikes will start at the end of next week and go on for an indefinite period. READ  

Deutsche Bank chief faces trial in Munich
Jürgen Fitschen (left) goes on trial in Munich today. Photo:DPA

Deutsche Bank chief faces trial in Munich

Deutsche Bank co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen is one of five defendants in a trial starting Tuesday accused of giving false testimony in a long-running legal battle with the defunct Kirch media group. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,170
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>