Once upon a time, a long time ago and in a faraway land, two brothers endeavoured to collect and publish folklore from around their continent, laying the foundation for the modern fairy tales beloved by children across the globe.
The two were known as the Brothers Grimm, and they are often the first authors to spring to mind when casting back into fairy tale history – notably their 1812 collection Children’s and Household Stories.
Their collections have endured for more than two hundred years, inspiring everything from Disney blockbusters to popular pantomimes – tales such as Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty.
Positioned as being tales collected from the common folk, they were more accurately provided by middle-class and aristocratic acquaintances, who had grown up with them, and helped to revive a format that had faded from its popularity in the 17th century.
And so, let us peer back into the mists of time, further, and you will come across another man. A French man who was widely credited with laying the foundation for the literary genre that would become the fairy tale.
Charles Perrault, too, derived his works from popular folk tales of the time. In 1697, his Histoires ou contes du temps passé or “Mother Goose Tales” were published, and included The Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots.
Puss in Boots – the story of a helpful, trickster cat in fabulous footwear – has its origins in tales told thousands of years ago. References to a cat who tries to make his fortune in a king’s palace appear as early as the fifth century in Panchatantra - a collection of Hindu tales – although he didn’t fare as well as the more modern Puss in Boots. And the earliest written European version of the tale appears in an Italian collection around 1550 – almost 150 year earlier.
Through the years I have been known by many names. Diablo Gato, The Furry Lover, Chupa Cabra, Frisky Two Times and then The Gingerhead man. But to most I am Puss in Boots, outlaw!— Puss in Boots
Of course, most modern children are probably most familiar with a swashbuckling ginger cat with a Spanish accent – the Puss in Boots voiced by Antonio Banderas in the Shrek films. He quickly became a fan favourite – the furry assassin who became one of Shrek’s most loyal friends.
And now, from the minds behind Shrek the Musical and twelve sold-out and award-winning pantomimes, KickstArt productions brings Puss in Boots to Gold Reef City.
Set on a magical Caribbean Island, Puss in Boots features audience participation, great music and stunning costumes – and is a swashbuckling spectacular for the whole family.