Lilith: The Jungle Girl is genre-defying theatre from Sisters Grimm

This article is from 2017

Lilith: The Jungle Girl is genre-defying theatre from Sisters Grimm

credit: Garth Oriander

Mix of theatre, satire, animation and art from award-winning Aussie company

These are politically fraught times. Fringe theatre, arguably, connects best with people when it effectively captures a sense of time and place, fusing the visceral with bold or radical ideas. In that spirit, award-winning queer Australian theatre company Sisters Grimm, who are known for staging shows in unusual settings like car parks, bring their production Lilith: The Jungle Girl to the Traverse during the Fringe.

Fascinated by both skewering and homaging cinematic tropes, they believe that the feral girl from famous melodramas is one archetype worth exploring. Co-artistic director Declan Greene explains: 'A young girl is found in a jungle, and is then brought back to civilisation in order to be socialised. But then at a certain point, we strain, and start to break these rules. Which is why you'll see talking lions, a wearable windmill, and a "wild girl" played by a 35-year-old naked man covered in pink slime.'

Indeed, the wilful subversion of genres and cliches seems to fuel Lilith. With a cast that includes Hot Brown Honey's Candy Bowers, and merging lo-fi animation, satirical theatre and live art, it's not easy to categorise, but there is a serious subtext within the performance about the problem of 'othering' outsiders.

Greene continues: 'We hope it provokes the audience into looking at the world a little differently – be that a new perspective on a political problem, or just remembering that theatre doesn't have to be dry or respectable.'

Traverse, 4–27 Aug (not 7,14, 21), times vary, £19.50 (£14.50). Preview 3 Aug, 9pm, £13 (£9).

Lilith: The Jungle Girl

  • 4 stars

Sisters Grimm When a wild girl is captured in the rainforests of Borneo, all of Holland is set abuzz. The year is 1861, and pioneering neuroscientist Charles Penworth is called upon to raise the child from the pit of her animal nature. But who, indeed, is the real savage? An explosively messy mash-up of satire, slime and…