Sleeping Beauty (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

Sleeping Beauty

A dark and deeply personal take on the classic fairytale, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

If you thought you knew the fairy story, think again. Liverpool-born, Normandy-resident Colette Garrigan has a dark and deeply personal take on the well-worn tale, finding in it a bleakly lyrical vehicle for telling her own early life story in 80s Bootle, and subverting the romantic whimsy of the original into memories of drugs, drink and disappointment.

What makes her show shine, though, is the disarming contrast between her sombre story and the touching poetry of her presentation, combining puppetry, shadow play and vivid storytelling. A table set for dinner slowly transforms into a playground for her imagination: forks become a menacing forest, a standard lamp revolves to reveal her boyfriend’s family, and a bread basket becomes the under stair cupboard in which the young Garrigan is imprisoned. It’s all quite simple and child-like, but no less effective for that, and her smoothly delivered bilingual text is focused and to the point, but never lacking in aphoristic poetry. There’s no hint of wallowing in the darkness, either – instead, Garrigan seems to want to demonstrate, it’s the richness of your imagination that can get you through.

Institut français, 225 5366, until 25 Aug (not 11, 18), £10 (£8).

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 Born in a kingdom devastated by unemployment and famine, where the spindle has been replaced by a syringe.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 Garrigan…