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The Marsh King's Daughter is one of Hans Christian Andersen's least known stories, but it is a good yarn and worth a wider audience, which is why I chose to dramatize it so long ago. The year was 1966, and this work developed because I had seen so much badly written and produced theatre for children. Most plays were condescending and filled with poorly constructed cardboard characters and inane dialogue.
This play honestly strives to tell a story that is exciting, funny, and terrifying, as well as compassionate, and it definitely does not talk down to children.
Unfortunately, because it calls for a large cast, extensive special effects, and a big production budget, it is my only play never produced. This presentation as an ebook is its first public outing.
For readers who are familiar with Andersen's story, you will find this play considerably changed from his original. For acceptance by contemporary audiences, I have omitted much that possibly would confuse or alienate children and adults. I’ve avoided, for instance, all of Andersen’s references to Medieval Christianity and its attendant mysticism: Vikings, Ancient Egyptians, Riddles, Magical Transformations, murder and mayhem being more than enough material to fill three brief acts.
Andersen also liked his heroines to die. Many of his best-loved stories have tragic endings (The Little Mermaid, The Red Shoes, The Little Match Girl), including The Marsh King’s Daughter. I chose to have Helga, his unlikely heroine, live.

Published: H.D. Greaves on
ISBN: 9781301339990
List price: $1.99
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