• Germany edition
 
Once upon a time in Frankfurt
Photo: DPA

Once upon a time in Frankfurt

Published: 18 Jan 2011 16:55 GMT+01:00
Updated: 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
Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 21
A firefighter at the scene of the explosion on Thursday afternoon. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 21

UPDATE: One person has died and at least 21 others are injured after a huge explosion in western Germany on Thursday. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the chancellor in Hamburg, which was supposed to change those perceptions, has only made things worse. READ  

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes
Photo: DPA

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes

Research released on Thursday by environmental group Greenpeace showed that more than half of clothing sold by German discount brands contain chemicals known to be dangerous to health and the environment, with items from Aldi being the worst offenders. READ  

Woman sues for accidental pot raid
Photo: DPA

Woman sues for accidental pot raid

A Bavarian woman is suing police for unlawful search after a reported break-in at her home led authorities to discover 158 cannabis plants in her basement. READ  

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants
Photo: DPA

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants

Germany gave out fewer residency permits last year per head to non-EU citizens than any other major European economy. READ  

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine
Hamburg's UKE has helped lead the fight against Ebola. Photo: DPA

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine

Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the first phase of the human trial for an Ebola vaccine at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE), it was announced on Wednesday evening. READ  

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend
Jacob Lew and Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: DPA

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, in a meeting on Wednesday with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, called on Germany to boost public spending to stimulate stuttering eurozone growth, the Treasury said. READ  

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window
Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window

A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning. READ  

North braces for storms and floods
Cars waiting to be loaded onto the ferry at Bremerhaven, Lower Saxony, were caught in flooding on Wendnesday. Photo: DPA

North braces for storms and floods

UPDATE: The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. The news followed a night of accidents caused by heavy winds in southern Germany. READ  

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall
US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Berlin Wall. Photo: DPA

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited remnants of the Berlin Wall on Wednesday and warned that East-West tensions again threaten freedom in Europe, 25 years after its collapse. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,523
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd