• 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
Presented by Home Exchange
Travel & live like a local with Home Exchange
A property listed in Costa Rica on the Home Exchange website. Photo: Home Exchange

Travel & live like a local with Home Exchange

Swap your home, save a fortune, and have a great time in the process. The Local finds why thousands of people from around the world have embraced the Home Exchange phenomenon. READ  

Germany's estate agents plan strike action
Photo: DPA

Germany's estate agents plan strike action

First it was the pilots, then train drivers - now Germany's real estate agents are threatening to go on strike. But their call to arms has been met with sneers rather than sympathy. READ  

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails
Ralf-Werner arriving in court last week. Photo: DPA

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails

An insurance salesman who sawed off his own finger and thumb to claim insurance was given a suspended sentence by a court in northern Germany on Friday. READ  

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq
Kurdish demonstrators at a rally in Düsseldorf in October. Photo: DPA

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq

Germany finds itself in a complicated relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). At home, police must investigate anyone who flies the flag, but in the Middle East they are the best hope of beating back the Islamic State. READ  

Quiz
Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?
Walpurgis Night in the Harz. Photo: DPA

Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?

Germany is home to a plethora of haunted castles and has a huge stock of gruesome stories. How well do you know the spooky side of the Germans? READ  

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years
Photo: DPA

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years

German shoppers cut back on their spending in September at the fastest rate for seven years, official data showed on Friday. READ  

Fall of the Wall - 25 years
'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'
Engels at the spot where he drove through the Wall and in hospital in 1963 after being shot. Photo: Nick Allen/Fotoarchiv Alex Waidmann Berlin

'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'

There are many of tales of ingenious and well-thought out escape plans from people desperate to flee from East to West Berlin. Wolfgang Engels’ wasn’t one of them. It was, however, one of the most daring. READ  

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes
Pupils used WhatsApp to share messages which are police are investigating. Photo: DPA

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes

Police are investigating pupils at a school in Saxony-Anhalt for incitement of the people and use of banned symbols after teenagers allegedly made the Hitler salute. READ  

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school
Representatives of the refugees at a press conference last week. Photo: DPA

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school

An ultimatum for the remaining refugees and their supporters to leave an occupied school in Berlin, which has been the scene of protests for months, will expire at midnight on Friday. READ  

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal
Photo: DPA

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal

The European Union will "fully play its role" to implement the gas deal signed by Ukraine and Russia on Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande said in a joint statement. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Travel and have a great time with Home Exchange
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles from British Airways
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Want to study in Germany? These are the subjects to choose
Photo: DPA
Society
Germans are wide of the mark on immigration
Photo: DPA
Society
Halloween: Where are the spookiest spots?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Who wants to work in Germany? A third of the world
Photo: DPA
Society
'We can't allow a proxy war on German streets'
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: How well do you know Germany?
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

3,513
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd