We have some news that we’d love to share with you all! Over the last few months, we’ve been busily working with Mytheresa and several familiar faces to write a series of modern fairy tales. Some incredible speakers have given their time and donated their fees to charity, and we can’t wait to share Mytheresa’s Pajama Podcast with you all.
The Little Duckling read by Munroe Bergdorf
The Ugly Duckling is one of Hans Christian Anderson’s most famous works. The original story tells the story of a little bird who is teased for their appearance and who decides to leave. After a series of scrapes and near misses, they eventually find a flock of swans who love the Ugly Duckling and take them into their family as one of their own.
Our retelling, The Little Duckling, subtly changes the traditional story from focussing on family to focussing on each individual’s right to express themselves and to be loved for who they are. Born to a loving family in a hostile world, Kaya perseveres throughout many challenges as they make their own way home; showing that each of us are the boss of our own body and identity.
The Little Duckling is read by Munroe Bergdorf, a model and activist who uses her profile to advocate for a fairer world. Winner of the 2018 Changemaker of the Year, she is an advocate for UN Women UK and has spoken on international panels on gender, inclusivity and race around the world.
You can listen to The Little Duckling now here or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear what you think on our Instagram and if you enjoy the story, perhaps you’ll like our first book – a retelling of Snow White.
The Little Mermaid read by Evan LaLanne
Hans Christian Anderson’s iconic Little Mermaid is given a new twist in our retelling for Mytheresa’s Pajama Podcast series. The original tale and Disney classic describe how a young mermaid gives up her voice and life in the sea to receive a human soul.
Our version keeps the spirit of the original while in a more modern and urgent setting. After years of human neglect and waste, the mermaids are trapped at the foot of the ocean and forced to protect their glorious Queendom with a thick net above. As each day passes, the pollution mounts as the Little Mermaid realises that she must act to save the merfolk. In a thrilling adventure, she rises up to the surface and asks herself whether she can make the ultimate sacrifice to keep her family and Queendom safe.
This retelling of the Little Mermaid is read for the Mytheresa Pajama Podcast by Evan LaLanne. Evan is a para-Alpine ski racer and a fearless wheelchair skateboarder from California. His videos have been viewed over 100 million times online and his collaboration with skater Tony Hawk on the Ellen DeGeneres show went viral in early 2021.
You can listen to The Little Mermaid now here or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear what you think on our Instagram and if you enjoy the story, perhaps you’ll like our first book – a retelling of Snow White.
Mulan read by April Kae
Mulan is a story of young woman's sacrifice; putting herself in danger to save her father. Living under a patriachal regime, the original Mulan is forced to disguise herself a male soldier and fight to protect her people.
In our retelling, we challenged both the patriachal society and the militaristic undertone of the original. While Mulan remains an excellent warrior, it is her disullisionment with war that inspires an unprecendent battle to end war. Working closely with another famous female commander, can Mulan bring an end to conflict before its too late?
This retelling of Mulan is read by April Kae. Born in Austin, Texas, April is a musician, model and community activist on a mission to empower women of colour and all people to embrace self-love. Videos of April playing bass have gone viral over the past few years, bringing her voice and platform to millions of people around the world. You can listen to Mulan now here or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear what you think on our Instagram and if you enjoy the story, perhaps you’ll like our first book – a retelling of Snow White.
Beauty & the Beast retold by Toni Garrn
Beauty & the Beast is one of Hollywood’s most famous fairy tales. The traditional narrative sees a Prince fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress, who turns him into a Beast until he learns to love and be loved in return. When he father is imprisoned by Beast, Beauty enters the castle and starts an adventure that ends with them both living happily ever after. In our retelling, Beauty and her father have fallen on hard times after the death of her mother, a famous inventor. Through a twist of fate, she meets Beast and the two discover their shared passion for invention and science. With debts piling up and the pressure building on her father, will Beauty and Beast find an invention to a problem science has been puzzling over for centuries?
This story is narrated by Toni Garrn, a fashion model and actress from Germany. An ambassador of Plan International’s Because I am a girl campaign, she founded the Toni Garrn Foundation in 2016 to support girls' education initiatives around the world. Working through local, community-based organizations, the foundation focuses on health-care and women empowerment centers to support female development. You can listen to Beauty & the Beast now here or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear what you think on our Instagram and if you enjoy the story, perhaps you’ll like our first book – a retelling of Snow White.
Little Red Riding Hood retold by Scout Bassett
Little Red Riding Hood is an iconic fairy tale, dating back centuries to old folk tales. In the original, a wolf carefully disguises themselves as a grandmother and eats a young girl. Eventually, the wolf is stopped by a hunter, who cuts open the wolf to save the young girl and her grandmother. We wanted to challenge the helplessness of Little Red Riding Hood, as well as focussing more on the wolf and the reasons that people are drawn into violent and conflicting situations.
Our retelling is a true tale of two individuals - Little Red Riding Hood and Kibu, a young cub, whose lives intertwine at a grandmother's cottage. Will Little Red Riding Hood escape? And will wolves and humans be able to live together in harmony?
Little Red Riding Hood is read by Scout Bassett. Scout is paralympian sprinter and long-jumper. She spent her first seven years of life in a government-run orphanage in Nanjing, China after she was found abandoned on the side of a street following the loss of her right leg in a chemical fire as a newborn baby. While growing up, she made a makeshift prosthetic leg using leather belts and masking tape and began to walk, aged six, but never went outside of the orphanage in which she was being raised. Bassett was adopted in 1995 by an American couple from Michigan.
A hugely talented sportswoman, she is currently the world record holder in the 400m T42 and American holder in 100m and 200m. Off the track, Bassett spends time as a mentor, activist for people with disabilities, athlete ambassador and motivational speaker and is a unique and inspiring role model for all people to dream big and believe.
You can listen to Scout’s retelling now here or wherever you get your podcasts!
Emperor's New Clothes by River Gallo
Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ is a literary folktale about a vain emperor whose foolishness leads to public humiliation. Drawn from hundreds of similar folk-tales in previous centuries, the story is a reminder of the dangers that come from only listening to those who tell you what you want to hear.
In a world where the potential for polarisation is high, the Emperor’s New Clothes remains as relevant now as it did centuries ago. Our retelling focuses on how structural power and corruption can slowly cause us to lose sight of what’s important. Will the Emperor’s son, at times a lone voice against a court of greed and extravagance, get through to his father before its too late?
Our retelling for the Pajama Podcast is read by River Gallo. River is an actor, model and intersex-rights activist. They won the GLAAD rising star grant in 2019 and wrote, directed, and acted in the short film Ponyboi, which is the first film to feature an openly intersex actor playing an intersex person. You can listen to the Emperor’s New Clothes now here or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear what you think on our Instagram and if you enjoy the story, perhaps you’ll like our first book – a retelling of Snow White.
Rapunzel by Aminata Belli
Rapunzel is a famous tale with an iconic line. In our retelling, we wanted to subtly change aspects of the original while keeping the narrative's spirit.
To pay for her family’s debt, Rapunzel is kidnapped by the settler Samael and locked in a tower to grow all alone. However, with the help of her phoenix friend, she learns about her roots and comes up with a plan to gain her freedom.
The Rapunzel story is narrated by Aminata Belli. Aminata, a journalist and presenter from Hamburg, is the author of articles about tolerance and fighting everyday racism. As a child, she thought that racism “had to simply be accepted”; today she organizes anti-racist workshops in schools, spreading awareness. You can listen to the retelling now here or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear what you think on our Instagram and if you enjoy the story, perhaps you’ll like our first book – a retelling of Snow White.
Sleeping Beauty by Pernille Teisbaek
Sleeping Beauty is both a classic and problematic fairytale. Embodying the damsel in distress narrative, and the passivity of the lead female character, we had plenty of scope to make changes to the original narrative.
In our retold version, a Prince - rather than a Princess, is cast into a deep sleep. Prince Erasmus is cursed by a spiteful fairy to sleep for one hundred years. However, the brave Princess Rose comes to his rescue by teaching kindness and forgiveness.
Can Rose find a way of saving the Prince and others across the land? Listen to find out!
The Sleeping Beauty story is narrated by Pernille Teisbaek. Pernille is a style icon and figurehead of Scandinavia’s fashion scene, as well as a proud mother of three. She is involved in the charity Cancer is Not for Children, following her personal experience of losing her dad at the age of 7. You can listen to the Sleeping Beauty now here or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear what you think on our Instagram and if you enjoy the story, perhaps you’ll like our first book – a retelling of Snow White.
Goldilocks by Helena Zengel
Goldilocks is a world-renowned fairy tale which has been retold countless times across generations.
We wanted to challenge both the conventional narrative of good and bad characters in the story, instead adding nuance to both Goldilocks and the Bears throughout.
In our retelling, Goldilocks' parents are too occupied with work to entertain the young aspiring painter. One day, the curious artist wanders into the woods, where she finds a kindred spirit in a little bear. What happens next is quite unexpected...
The Goldilocks’ Bears story is narrated by Helena Zengel. Helena made her big-screen debut at the age of 8 at the 2017 Berlinale film festival. She won the German Film Award for Best Leading Actress in 2020, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards in 2021. You can listen to the Goldilocks now here or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear what you think on our Instagram and if you enjoy the story, perhaps you’ll like our first book – a retelling of Snow White.