Adapting Fairy Tales for Radio

Since we’re deep in the land of fairy tales with, it felt like a good time to some of the considerations we’ve had in adapting the stories you’re hearing on Through the Looking Glass.

For the most part, we’ve tried to keep to the straight text from a particular translation or version wherever possible. There’s two main reasons for this.

Firstly, it makes the production that much easier if we aren’t spending as much time adapting the work (if you’ve listened or read some of our other behind-the-scenes, you know some of our original series are written over the course of years). Now we do often need to examine several versions of a tale and sometimes synthesize a combination of versions, but that’s still less writing work than completely original scripts.

Secondly, we usually like the written version. It usually has more depth and more nuance than versions we may have seen adapted for the screen. There’s often darker tones here and there as the monsters can be truly monstrous, the heroes a bit more flawed, and the setbacks more charmingly convoluted.

That said, we have noticed a few issues that we have to look out for in every fairy tale as we set about adapting it.

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