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The Beast and The Bride - FRINGE WORLD Review

Home > Perth > Festivals | Performing Arts | Theatre | Theatre Reviews
by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
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:
Published February 8th 2018
The show explores beastly stories away from Disney
One of the joys of the Perth Fringe World is finding unexpected gems such as The Beast and The Bride by new theatre company Bow and Dagger.

Bow and Dagger is an artistic collaboration between Finn O'Branagain and Clare Testoni, focussing on female-driven works and this is their first outing and a remarkable show it is.

The Beast and The Bride, Perth Fringe World, Clare Testoni, Finn O'Branagáin, Bow and Dagger, Blue Room Summer Nights
Clare Testoni in The Beast and The Bride (Photograph courtesy Scott McArdle)

Written and performed by Clare Testoni and directed by Finn O'Branagain, the show opens with Testoni as a late Victorian bride in her crinoline gown (white, in tribute to the Empress Eugenie) seeking a few private moments before her marriage is consummated - a word, or more correctly, a concept that gives her pause.

She begins to talk about her fears, her life and her view of marriage, illustrated with light and shadow work, cut outs, even puppetry to illuminate her stories, interrupted from time to time by her off-stage husband in ever-increasing irritation.

The Beast and The Bride, Perth Fringe World, Clare Testoni, Finn O'Branagáin, Bow and Dagger, Blue Room Summer Nights
Clare Testoni (Photograph courtesy Bow and Dagger)

One-person plays are notoriously difficult, claiming the audiences' attention for a full hour without help or respite is a considerable challenge, one which Testoni easily conquers. Speaking in a low tone, rising and full of light and shadow, tempo and pitch, she held us all in the palm of her hand, spinning her tales in a totally believable world she created around and in us.

A complete tour de force of acting and storytelling, The Beast and The Bride is a triumph, if you love good acting, good theatre or just a good night out, do yourself a favour and see it if you possibly can.

The Beast and The Bride is on at The Blue Room in the Perth Cultural Centre until the 17th of February. Tickets cost $26 and can be bought on-line here.

Very Highly Recommended Indeed.

The Beast and the Bride, Perth fringe World, Testoni, Finn O'Branagain, Beauty and the Beast
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Why? A one woman tour de force about beasts and brides
When: Various - see website
Where: The Blue Room, 53 James Street, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge
Cost: $26
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