Advent Calendars and Nightmares

Over at Obscene Desserts, John Carter-Wood muses on the pleasures of Advent calendars, and, in particular, on the unfolding story that is contained within one that he purchased at his local supermarket. Do go and read about the adventures of Otto, who clearly is up to no good, and who, one suspects, is going to come to a sticky end.

John draws the parallel between these modern day toys-with-stories and with the Germanic tradition of the tales of the Brothers Grimm and Heinrich Hoffman’s Struwwelpeter (in English translation known as Shockheaded Peter). I had both books as a child, and Struwwelpeter in particular scared the living bejeesus out of me.

When in 1999, I saw the junk opera Shockheaded Peter at a performance in Amsterdam, all the old feelings of being simultaneously both scared and exhilarated came flooding back. It’s a great shame that a video recording of the production was never made, it was a terrific production (in all senses).

At least the music from the production is available on CD. Aurally, it’s just as strange and scary as the opera was visually…

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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