Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Colette Garrigan on Sleeping Beauty

The Ken Loach-inspired reinterpretation deals with gritty issues of drugs, abuse and delinquency

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This article is from 2014.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Colette Garrigan on Sleeping Beauty

‘I ended up putting myself at the centre of my own fairy story. What comes across in this show is me as a teenager, growing up in a broken home in Liverpool, and all these years later living and working as a puppeteer in France. How did that happen?’ Colette Garrigan’s own story – from Bootle beginnings via far-flung Réunion Island to working as an actor and puppeteer in Normandy – is as striking as the age-old tale of Sleeping Beauty that she brings to the Institut français.

But her Ken Loach-inspired reinterpretation deals with gritty issues of drugs, abuse and delinquency. ‘This is Liverpool in the 1980s, when Thatcher was in full flow. It’s about how a princess, in a kingdom devastated by famine and unemployment, can use her imagination so that rather than plunging into despair, she imagines better ways out.’

Garrigan’s one-woman bilingual production – with a small amount of French, and a lot of blackly humorous Liverpudlian English – contrasts its dark storyline with the far brighter poetry of its puppetry and shadow theatre, where forks become forests and sugar cubes describe a wintry landscape. ‘It’s about using very ordinary objects that, like people, if they’re used in the right way, can blossom into something magical.’

Sleeping Beauty, Institut français, 225 5366, 2–25 Aug (not 11, 18), 1pm, £10 (£8). Preview 1 Aug, £5.

This article is from 2014.

Sleeping Beauty

  • 4 stars

Cie Akselere This is not a fairy tale but a princess’s tale. A princess from Liverpool. Born in a kingdom devastated by unemployment and famine, where the spindle has been replaced by a syringe. We are in a restaurant. The table is set. The waitress welcomes us. On the menu, a story. Artist and puppeteer Colette…

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