Swiss storyteller Peter Rinderknecht enthralls young audiences with ‘Minor Matters’ in the Capital

Noted Swiss storyteller Peter Rinderknecht recently performed his solo piece titled ‘Minor Matters’ at the Eureka bookstore in New Delhi. The show is essentially a story of a farmer and his family

Peter Rinderknecht performing at Eureka bookstore
Peter Rinderknecht performing at Eureka bookstore
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Murtaza Ali Khan

Noted Swiss storyteller Peter Rinderknecht recently performed his solo piece titled ‘Minor Matters’ at the Eureka bookstore in New Delhi. The show is essentially a story of departure, desires, hopes and disappointments revolving around a farmer and his family.

For over four decades Rinderknecht, actor, director and author, has been one of the important personalities in theatre for young audiences in Switzerland. As the director of his company ‘Theater for a growing audience,’ he takes his plays all over the world. He performs his projects as in various languages both in Switzerland and at various festivals across the globe. His open form of storytelling creates a unique theatre world in which reality and fantasy merge. He has to date created more than 35 productions.

Rinderknecht has a rare gift to instantly connect with children and keep them hooked through his characters and their simple yet emotional life stories. He is able to involve the children sitting in the audience by naming his characters after them. He even occasionally invites them to come up with the right sounds to help bring his characters to life. Even the grownups in the audience aren’t spared. “If a young one can’t imitate the perfect horse or goat sound then the adult too can falter while trying to imitate the tractor sound. I don’t want the children to think even for one second that the grownups are any better than them. If the children can make mistakes so can the adults,” explains Rinderknecht who has been a storyteller since 1979.

Swiss storyteller Peter Rinderknecht enthralls young audiences with ‘Minor Matters’ in the Capital

Speaking about his piece ‘Minor Matters,’ Rinderknecht adds, “We all want to have happy endings but life is different. In Switzerland, we learnt many languages at school and so I am able to play this piece in as many as five languages: Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English. Ever since the pandemic started it hasn’t been easy as an artist who has been traveling all over the world for so many years. ‘Minor Matters’ is one of those pieces that I can travel with easily and play without big technical infrastructure.”

‘Minor Matters’ is presented by ThinkArts with the support of Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. “Pro Helvetia New Delhi helped bring ‘Minor Matters’ to Bangladesh and India this year. ‘Minor Matters’ has also been on an India Tour before in 2018; another tour in 2020 which was cut short by the pandemic. We recommended Peter's participation at the ‘AHA! Festival’ and they were happy to invite him. We work with local partners and festivals together to programme Swiss artists at relevant platforms. Our role then is of creating the right connections and eventually to support the project by funding it as per our mandate,” explains Akshay Pathak who heads Pro Helvetia New Delhi.


Pro Helvetia New Delhi is part of the Swiss Arts Council’s worldwide network of liaison offices. It supports and disseminates Swiss arts and culture in South Asia by promoting cultural exchange. “As the liaison office of the Swiss Arts Coucil, Pro Helvetia New Delhi promotes artistic exchange with countries in Southern Asia. So far, this includes countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The instruments we use to enable this include supporting residencies, research trips, coproduction, touring for Swiss artists and groups as well as special projects with innovative formats that we keep developing. This year, audiences can look forward to the Long Night of LiteratureS in September. We will also be supporting a Swiss artist at the Jazzmandu festival in Nepal in October. Swiss musicians will also be featured in Jazz tours later this year,” sums up Pathak.

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