C’era una volta


from the Brothers Grimm’s “Snow White”

Much more than a show about princesses and heroes.
The fairy-tale land of our imagination, so sweet and lovely in our memories, will be transformed, and the lines between Good and Evil will become deeply evanescent.

Stories and legends coming from the tradition of great authors, from the Brother’s Grimm to Lewis Carroll, from Johann Karl August Musäus to Hans Christian Andersen, are reinterpreted in a noir atmosphere and a “bittersweet” air.

Is it possible that Little Red Riding Hood has a dark side? And why can’t a Witch or a Stepmother have a good, sweet-natured or melancholic side?

C’ERA UNA VOLTA is a colourful and enchanting Revue, a multidisciplinary work where fascinating moving objects, water effects and the fusion of technological influences work together to create an evocative and extended experience for the audience.

It is a contemporary work that shakes up the old tradition by strips away the “sugar coated” essence of a fairy-tale.

On tour: 2014 – 2020

Cast and crew: 12/13 people on tour (9 actors / actresses)
Running time: 60 min.
Venue: Show suitable for huge open spaces and historical locations.
Language: NO TEXT >> non-verbal show
Techniques: Physical theatre / Dance / Machinery and large moving objects
Audience: Best ca 2.000. It can host up to 3.000 audience.

Target: Any age bracket. Suitable to an international audience.
Miscellaneous: Use of fireworks and water.

Directed by: Marco Paciotti
Intellectual copyright rights: ONDADURTO TEATRO / Marco Paciotti and Lorenzo Pasquali

Assistant director: Roberto Andolfi

Cast: Chiara Becchimanzi, Giorgia Conteduca, Daniele Ginnetti, Marco Golinucci, Valerio Marinaro, Giorgia Marras, Lorenzo Pasquali, Dario Vandelli, Giulia Vanni.

Machinery: Lorenzo Pasquali and Massimo Carsetti

Music: Recognizable sounds of various authors

Costume Design: Claudia Tortora
Light Design: Costel Iulian Prodran
Videos: Cristian Paraskevas

International Consultancy: Ute Classen Kulturmanagement – GERMANY

A dusty garret, an abandoned house, an old set.

A scenery hidden under large plastic tarpaulins, everything seems to be left there, beneath the dust, who knows how…

The clock is ticking, time is flowing…Suddenly, the 12 bells toll, it’s midnight and everything has begun!

Dancing to an old-style overture, the actors help each other to get dressed and ready and then they draw out a large structure made of stairs and different platforms…It all seems like a Great Variety Show!

The wicked Stepmother appears and they all become Puppets in her service, manipulated throughout the space, according to her whim.

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all?” “Thou art fairer than all who are here, Lady Queen. But more beautiful still is another Girl, as I ween”.

And then the Girl appears: a Girl, with red hat and coat… Could she be…? Who knows…! A timeless character, who, like a common thread, will guide the audience into our story.

An unreal world, where an improbable Mad Hatter and his Carousel of Time will bring our heroine on a surreal and fantastic journey: She will pass through stories and legends on a breathless tour made up of enchanting and colourful locations.

A Glittering Fairy with her absurd beauty salon comes on the scene, followed by moment played out in the style of a gangster-movie, where, through the use of video-projection, sounds effects and comic-style acting, a smoke filled Chicago will be recreated on stage. In this atmosphere a Charming Wolf and his bungling minions act out their adventures, including shoot outs, chases and beautiful dolls…they even beat up the poor Grandma! But every effort will fail.

She will finally subdue the Wolf and make him her faithful puppy.

Suddenly, Two Half-Sisters appear with their entourage of servants, busy eating and constantly trying on every kind of shoe. A grotesque scene with a dramatic atmosphere that will culminate in an uncontrollable jet of water: the desperate tears of two rejected women, who were not chosen, for whom the shoe doesn’t fit!

And just like in the original story, our Heroine will find her Shoe and then will be saved by her Charming Prince, who will come to her tower in a flying Vespa.

But the wicked Stepmother will not like this happy ending: she only believes in her own beauty, and she is the only one who can be happy in this story! Here is her Enchanted Mirror moving closer to dance a sad tango with her, a melancholic Milonga.

The Mirror will turn into Light, the Stepmother into Shadow, and the Shadow into a story of love, an eternal, impossible love…Jealous of both the Happiness and Love of our Heroine, the Stepmother will use her magic for the last time, changing our Heroine into a White Swan.

In the end, the Mad Hatter and his Carousel of Time will come back to try to restore order, to guide our heroine and to help her…but what will happen? How will end the story?

The dark, hidden side of the story, the moments of melancholy, disillusion…Ondadurto Teatro will give life to these fairy-tale worlds using a poetic and a grotesque style.

The use of machinery and objects in movement follows on from and develops the research conducted by the company during all its previous performances.
The set design concept revolves around a set of Stairs, which create various levels on the stage: a series of different shaped stairs, placed as if they were examined from different points of view.
Each part, taken separately, is perfectly realistic and consistent, but considered as a whole they are impossible and even made up of contradictions. Stairs are the symbol of the link between various States of Being.
Connected to this is the idea of up and down, of movement and hierarchy between the different levels; the space becomes a structure that is articulated by various planes, steps and the interplay of solid and void. An expressive space, moved and transformed by the live action of the performers on stage, who, therefore, become both actors and manipulators at the same time, is a consistent characteristic of the Show.
Then there are also, moving screens, a Tower Structure, an Iron Dress, a flying Vespa, a big Mechanical Clock, an Unicycle that pull a Sitting room on top, a water Fountain.

The choice of using video and projections is connected to the search for balance between the various media.
Closely related to the dramaturgical structure, video is an essential part of the show, just like music, actors and machinery / objects in movement.
These Projections will invade different spaces. Thus, there will be different surfaces for images, solids and voids, which will be disassembled and recomposed, transformed, multiplied.
Words, letters and video effects will become virtual background, constantly changing: not fixed images on static screens, but dynamic projections in movement.

Taking its cue from the vast repertoire of the most famous Italian “songs” from the 1940s, and from Ennio Morricone’s masterpieces, mixed with contemporary music and electronic sounds, the soundtrack completes the relationship between different media, just like the machinery / objects and video projections.
The vintage flavour of the soundtrack is offset by songs composed especially for the show: a composition that becomes a real dramatic element.

la Repubblica – Italy
(“… the strange obsession of the Stepmother gazing at herself in her mirror […] a repertory of fairy tales narrated from a decidedly noir perspective.”) 

Corriere del Mezzogiorno – Italy
(“Prince Charming driving a flying Vespa…”) 

La Vanguardia – Spain
 (“… the fantastic “C’era una volta”, by ONDADURTO TEATRO, will surely end up with a major international tour. “C’era una volta” reinterprets the most famous fairy tales with a dash of satire. The spectacular, vibrant and colourful staging left the audience at Saint Eloi park amazed and excited.”)

El Periódico – Spain
(“The great multidisciplinary show by the Italian ONDADURTO TEATRO company, “C’era una volta”, was another gem. A magical, dreamlike journey with great visual impact that takes the audience by the hand to follow Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wicked Stepmother, ending with a reversal of roles  …”)

Gazeta – Poland
(“… one of these is ONDADURTO TEATRO from Italy. The show “C’era una volta” is a colorful and fascinating review, a multimedia spectacle, in which the technological effects enhance and intensify the experience of the spectator…”)

Online Review – Poland
(“One of the stunning performances at Festiwalu Teatrów Ulicznych is “C’era una volta”, a new production from the Italian group ONDADURTO TEATRO…”)

Online Review – Mexico
(“To laughter, applause and a festive atmosphere, the Italian ONDADURTO TEATRO company presented their show “C’era una volta” on the evening of Friday, April 17, near the Palace of Fine Arts.”)

AM – Mexico
(“The piece […] combines dance, physical theatre, live music and contemporary circus with pyrotechnics, machinery and multimedia that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey.”)

Online Review – Italy
(“It’s a production where all the elements of the scene are complementary: the outdoor stage captures the attention of the viewer who is no longer sitting on a seat in a theatre; music that fills the air, acting and makeup that transform the actors into fantasy characters and the stage machinery all combine in a mise-en-scene that adds a touch of playfulness to this Italian show.”)

Ruhr Nachrichten – Germany pl
(“The characters are quickly identified, they are the good and bad guys from the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen […] in this multimedia performance with video recordings and magical music…”)

Online Review – Republic of Ireland
(“This is much more than a show about princesses and heroes.”)

Do you want to see the other photos of the show? Go to our dedicated section, where you can get to know the actors, discover the scenes, and much more …

Do you want to see other videos of the show? Go to our dedicated section, where you can see excerpts from the show, and much more …

Get in touch
with us!

Are you interested in our shows and want to learn more? Write us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.