The H. C. Andersen Festivals have been an annual tradition in the Danish town of Odense since 2013. The birth town of the famous author celebrates his works with an array of cultural and musical events. On behalf of the H. C. Andersen Festivals, Battle Royal Studios created a new interpretation of Andersen’s legacy. The result was a community-orientated experience with the name “House of Wonder” that gave children a powerful voice.
The presentation was about children resisting the seemingly tyrannical time-to-go-to-bed. HCA’s character Ole Lukøje tried to make the children tired the whole evening. These boycotted the endeavour. Ole finally gave up, but the children took pity on him and declared their willingness to go to bed – if they got a last “fanfare” in return. The evening was rounded off with a big finale that afforded an impressive spectacle featuring lighting, video and pyrotechnic elements.
The visual narrative of “House of Wonder” purposely invited contributions from children from the region. Workshops held by the H. C. Andersen Museum gave them the opportunity to become storytellers themselves and to develop the story further together.
The show was originally planned for 2020 but had to be postponed twice on account of the pandemic. In the year 2022, the realisation was hampered by higher costs, scheduling problems and the ongoing coordination over a period of months between the Danish partners and the production team in Berlin. Workshops for children, ballet rehearsals and artistic research had to be precisely coordinated in order to achieve a powerful and emotional narrative worthy of HCA.