Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty,
And all of Shakespeare’s many plays;
Make them sexy, make them new
Turn them into modern life
And let me see the stories in
A fresh and feisty brighter light.
I have a bit of a thing for retellings when it comes to my books and movies. Whether it is a modern take on a classic fairytale, or a new look at a Jane Austen novel, I am there for it.
At the moment I am reading Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler and it’s a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. Now, I haven’t watched or read this play but I have watched 10 Things I Hate About You which is based on the same play.
And I love that experience of reading or watching something and trying to work out which character is which in the story, and seeing it all unfold in another setting, another time period, and with a whole cast of new people.
I definitely recommend Vinegar Girl as I am fast becoming a fan of this writer. And if you have been living underneath a rock and haven’t read any of the Bridget Jones books yet, the first one is probably one of the best retellings of all time, especially as Mark Darcy is played by Colin Firth in the movie (he famously played Mr Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice).
3 thoughts on “oh how i love a retelling”
Sometimes a retelling really can be brilliant, Rachel. And there are so many ways to do a retell, too. I thought the film Clueless was a great take on Jane Austen’s Emma. And how creative was The Lion King as another take on Hamlet? Admittedly, I think it’s best to read the original in order to really appreciate the retell. But they can be fantastic.
I didn’t even realise that Lion King was Hamlet! And, I did love Clueless. Love a bit of 90s nostalgia…
I appreciate your insight and enthusiasm. I have not been a fan of re-interpretations that leave the setting and the time entirely. But your view is persuasive, and I should reconsider my own. I think Anne Tyler’s writing’s good.