Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I wasn't planning to blog again until after the next, rather busy, weekend, but Bluebeard finishes at Bristol Old Vic on Saturday, and everyone who cares about writing, or relationships, or ~ well, anything really ~ needs to go see it.
Writer Hattie Naylor developed this 60-minute monologue with support from Bristol Old Vic Ferment, who co-produced with Gallivant. As introduction to an extraordinary reworking of the Bluebeard fantasy I'll just quote the flyer: Will he excite you? Will he seduce you? Will he love you to death? but Hattie can tell you more here.  Her script is tautly shocking from the opening line, words chosen with knifelike precision and cuttingly delivered, poetic and visual ~ not so much filmic as a series of savagely erotic paintings. It's also a psychological study of violence ~ specifically on women but evoking the whole notion of control and complicity in human interaction. We are taken deep into the mind of predator with a chilling ability to self-justify ~ Nature doesn’t come with moral guidelines. Nature is tyranny. ~ but his insights into his victims are searing. She’ll go back there, he says of one corrupted naïf, She’ll want to attempt to understand it. Of another: She thought she could take it... she wants to know there's a worthless self deep within her, why else would she stay?' 
And there's an amazing dance half-way through, to The Night, which ferociously embodies his misogyny and rage and unacknowledged self-contempt. The ending fits perfectly this ouroboric tale but a spoiler would, in this case, spoil.
(I can't imagine anyone better for this role than Paul Mundell, which is why I've used his Spotlight picture here... so you can see exactly what I mean.)

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