Milk Presents Theatre Company’s production is based on the folktale written by French writer Charles Perrault. Their interpretation is very quirky and you get the feeling the members of the company must have had great fun putting the whole thing together and this sense of fun is experienced by the audience.
Their approach is totally retro. Imagine underneath a school stage there is a cupboard which has been locked for decades. It is unlocked and within is discovered an overhead projector, a slide projector, a cassette recorder, a keyboard, a record player and some old sheets. Throw in a tandem bicycle and a loud hailer for good measure, and this accumulation of curios gives the equipment that is used to produce the musical background, lighting and sound effects.
The story is very straightforward. Bluebeard, a rich nobleman, is a blackguard who marries unsuspecting maidens and then once he has enjoyed them, he murders them. That is, until he gets his comeuppance. What really matters in this form of theatre is how the story is told .and the skills of the performers.
The 5 performers work their socks off to keep the action flowing. Adam Robertson as Bluebeard looks the part of the evil seducer with his dark hair and moustache. Jacob Beswick as compere, and Lucy Doherty, Saskia Solomons and Ruby Glaskin as wives I, II, and III not only take on acting roles, but also play live music and pedal the bike to provide the energy to create a clever lighting effect.
There is almost a pantomime feel with song and dance routines and mime mixed in with the dialogue. It is a most imaginative production and marks a fine Fringe debut by this company of young performers.
Reviewed by Ben
Underbelly Cowgate/Iron Belly: 61a
4 to 28 August 2011 (not 16)
18.55 – 19.45
Fringe Programme Page Number: 245