An erotic, heady and feminist re-telling of these dark fantasy fairy tales, performed by an all-female cast using aerial circus, visual physical theatre, gothic design and a haunting soundscape.
A darkly erotic magical realism reworking of Bluebeard’s Castle, a bawdy Puss in Boots, a sado-masochistic version of Little Red Riding Hood, an inverted Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood - Angela Carter’s subversive take on traditional fairy stories in The Bloody Chamber is as shocking today as when the collection first appeared in 1979. Carter was drawn to “Gothic tales, cruel tales, tales of wonder, tales of terror, fabulous narratives that deal directly with the imagery of the unconscious".
Director Mary Swan explains why, at the start of a new decade, there has never been a better time to delve into the world of Carter’s rich imagination. “The Bloody Chamber is the book I wished I had read at seventeen; the strangeness and fearlessness of the women, even the unnamed, seemingly doomed protagonist in The Bloody Chamber are all capable of rebellion, survival and wit, qualities which, when you are seventeen, are the most important to know you are allowed to possess.
It is a feminist book, but not one that excludes male characters, nor does it demonize them. The tales squarely avoid the ‘woman as victim’ tropes, that can be found in much contemporary adult fantasy. In the era of #MeToo, Carter’s empowered female protagonists feel vital at this very moment, and the time is ripe for their discovery.
Fairy and folk tales were always the way to pass on advice and warnings and to illustrate the mistakes of the past, perhaps we need to heed their warnings more clearly. How else in a patriarchal society could women talk freely about domestic violence (The Bloody Chamber), seduction (The Lady of the House of Love), and puberty (any of the ‘wolf’ stories)."
Aerial Circus, in particular silks, is a new venture for Proteus and they have assembled a highly skilled team including Acrobalance Choreographer Sylvia Fratelli (Mimbre), Aerial Consultancy Charlotte Mooney (Ockham’s Razor), Aerial Choreographer Tamzen Moulding (Inverted Theatre) and R&D Consultant Vicki Amedue (Up Swing).
The show will premiere before touring in Spring 2021.
Thurs 30 April 7:30pm at the Proteus Creation Space, Basingstoke, RG21 3DH
Wed 13 May 7:30pm & Thurs 14 May 2:30pm & 7:30pm 2020 at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing on as part of Summer of Circus
AVAILABLE TO TOUR
Come with us deep into the forest.
Directed by Mary Swan
Designed by Sam Pine
Lighting Design by Peter Harrison
Musical direction, Re-composition, Arrangements, Sound Design and Production by Max Reinhardt
Original composition by Paul Wild
Dramaturg: Saul Jaffe
Acrobalance Choreographer: Sylvia Fratelli
Aerial Choreographer: Tamzen Moulding
Aerial Consultancy: Ockham’s Razor
Performed by Jessica Andrade, Megan Brooks, Ashley Christmas, Anesta Mathurin, Lorraine Moyneham
In association with Turtle Key Arts and Worthing Theatres and Museum