Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
in an age of gender equality why make men beasts?
You would have had to be living on Mars these past few years not to be familiar with the old German folk fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast.
The tale, originally horrifyingly Grimm, now Disneyfied, is the story of a young, naive pretty girl looking rather like Hermione Grainger, who trades herself into the service of a prince, enchanted into a rough beast ... etc etc...
Clare Testoni in the Beast and the Bride (Photograph courtesy of Perth fringe World)
New theatre company Bow and Dagger have now armed themselves with a rather more modern approach to the tale, re-naming it The Beast and The Bride and turning it into a bride in Victorian times waiting for her (un-named) groom. To while away the time she chats to the audience about 'beauties and beasts, bluebeards and blood; erotic, horrifying, and empowering'.
The one-woman show is written and performed by Clare Testoni and directed by Finn O'Branagain.
The stories are told in a mixture of 'shadow puppetry, storytelling, and feminism'.
Testoni says: "Beauty and The Beast has always been my favourite story,along with the other tales that feature animal bridegrooms, but as I've gotten older I've really wondered why I love such a problematic tale, and why I find it so romantic."I wanted to take the tales and place them in their original context, to highlight the reasons these stories were told. I wonder if we keep telling these stories without changing them what we are saying about ourselves?"
The Beast and the Bride is part of Perth Fringe World and opens at the Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge and runs until the 17th February.
Tickets can be booked on the FringeWorld website here.