by Emanuela Dall’aglio

Drawing on the expressive characters of puppet

theatre, the Stories on your shoulders trilogy by Emanuela Dall’aglio approaches three classic fairy tales and reduces each one to a particular device; a costume that is emblematic of all the elements of the fairy tale. The set, characters and actress (who is both a host and a character) reside within a living and moving artefact, from which they come forth at just the right moment.  At the same time, this artefact maintains its appearance and purpose as a garment. This project relays classic fairy tales that confront children’s traditional fears: namely, fear of the wolf and of the witch. In this project, the telling of classic fairy stories entails the creation of a museum of objects, icons and elements retrieved from the story itself. The audience can touch them and familiarise themselves with them, allowing them to imagine and rediscover the object in question during the telling, with the clarity of one who has seen it and discovered its back-story and what it represents. The RRFO (Recupero Reperti Fiabe Originali) museum for the Re-discovery of the Artefacts of Original Fairy tales, is enriched with each display of new objects, to the point of it becoming a cabinet of curiosities for fairy tales.


the GiANT

created and directed by Emanuela Dall’aglio

artistic collaboration by Mirto Baliani

with Emanuela Dall’aglio

and the participation of Veronica Pastorino

costumes and props by Emanuela Dall’aglio

in partnership with Andrea Bovaia, Veronica Pastorino

and Paolo Romanini

music and sound by Mirto Baliani

lighting by Emiliano Curà

production assistant Jessica Graiani

voice of the giant Daniele Bonaiuti

production Teatro delle Briciole


for 4 years

Photo Jacopo Niccoli

After the wolf of Little Red Riding Hood and the witch of Gretel and Hänsel, the final chapter in the Stories on your shoulders trilogy (loosely inspired by the Grimms’ fairy tale Seven at one blow) deals with another archetype of fear: the child-eating giant, a massive creature who unites physical strength with dim-wittedness. The protagonist is a child who challenges the giant to a competition between strength and guile, one of the generative frameworks of the oral fairy tale. One morning, filled with pride in his skill in killing seven flies in one blow, John decides to give himself a well-deserved day off, but on the way home he meets a giant. A series of adventures unfold, in which the child will defeat his fearsome adversary with demonstrations of cunning that will result in him returning victorious.

The theme of the giant is rooted in the traditional oral tales of various different cultures, and is reinvented here in the form of an immensely huge antagonist, filled with modern figurative imagery: a grotesque beast that evokes our ancestral myths and rituals, portrayed through his adversarial relationship with the infant hero, but also through humorous descriptions of his bizarre personality. The fusion between a classic fairy tale and modern, visual interpretation reflects the mysteriously universal nature of the ancient Fairy tale. This is also achieved through a meticulous vocal and musical score, which accompanies all the stages of the protagonist’s initiatory journey.

The unifying invention of this trilogy, which drives the action and twists the plot, is now opening up to new theatrical practices and seems to be breaking away from itself. This metamorphosis generates superhuman beings which have a life of their own. It is a search for “special effects” which are the fruit of a peculiarly theatrical craftsmanship. Similarly, the symbolic evidence, anchored in the physical reality of the classic fairy tale, is kept. This evidence narrates the feats of Gianni and are shown to the children at the beginning of the show, thus occupying the audience while they wait and creating a gallery of memorable objects which you can spot during the show.


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