In this much-loved story, a little fir tree is desperate to grow up and be like the other trees in the forest.
Published in 1845, Hans Christian Andersen’s short story is a sweet and sorrowful one. It concerns the life of a small fir tree who is anxious that, compared to the other trees in the forest, he is short and spindly. Most pointedly, he is always asking when he will ‘truly be alive.’ When he sees lumberjacks cutting down the best-looking trees and dragging them through the snow, he asks the swallows where they are going. The swallows explain to him about the beauty of Christmas and how those trees will be a special part. However, when the little fir tree’s time comes, he is taught an unexpected and irreversible lesson…
Ex-Doctor Who star, David Tennant lends his mercurial tones and boundless energy to this adaptation of Andersen’s original story. Tennant seems to bounce buoyantly through the text, taking the listener on a delightful journey with him. However, his skills as an actor are truly brought to bear in the more poignant moments of the story, which are part of any good Christmas tale.
Andersen’s story is one of aspiration, envy and a warning not to grow up too fast. Younger listeners will be both uplifted and moved by the fir tree’s plight, one that adults will be able to relate to on a much deeper level.