Kill the Princess (3 stars)

Kill the Princess

Finding a happy ending

In the small, modest space of the Spiegelyurt, two women are smashing the patriarchy. Kill the Princess is a hilarious and unpredictable venture that tackles every fairy tale trope, examines the intricacies of female agency, and reclaims the power of female storytelling.

If this all sounds a bit serious, it absolutely is not: in one scene, performers Michelle Madsen and Lizzy Shakespeare ransack a dressing-up box, combing through the paraphernalia of female domesticity until one shoves a feather duster down her shorts and proclaims herself the prince; in another, they transform into old crones and outrageously flirt with everyone in the tent. Despite the audience interaction, there's a sense that Madsen and Shakespeare are not really playing to anyone else's expectations but their own; although this can lead to a confused narrative structure, it also gives the play a levity and charming assurance.

This assurance is particularly striking in the moments – perhaps too few – when the play connects the archaism of fairy tales with broader and continuing systems of gendered oppression. As thoroughly absurd and inventive as Kill the Princess is, these moments offer an unexpected profundity and intimacy that speak to the power of feminist rewriting, however silly it may be.

Heroes @ The Spiegelyurt, until 25 Aug (not 17, 21), 3.40pm, £5 in advance or donations at venue.

Bait: Kill the Princess

  • 3 stars

What happens when the glass slipper doesn’t fit? Is it a cue to put a bullet in the princess’ head? ‘Go on, give us a kiss… it's for the sisterhood' Can you be feminine & still be a feminist? What does acting like a man really mean? Where does our identity come from? Bait Theatre’s Michelle Madsen and Lizzy…

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