City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

And Then He Ate Me, manipulate Festival, Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 04 February 2015

2. And then he ate me-Velo-Photo C Loiseau small.jpg
Show Details
Traverse Theatre
Vélo Théâtre
Tania Castaing, Charlot Lemoine, José Lopez, Nathalie Landrieu
Running time: 

Award winning French company Vélo Théâtre is lighting up this year’s manipulate Festival (albeit using a small galaxy of 40 watt bulbs! ) with their UK première of the strangely engaging And Then He Ate Me.

Beneath these orange Edisons, Charlot Lemoine struts the stage as the comic and melodramatic man wolf/wolfman - grey suited and bare footed with a tell -tale tail swishing from his trousers.

In a reference to another fantasy, the time obsessed Rabbit is his top hatted side kick. He provides atmospheric projections and sound effects from a workshop with a makeshift screen side stage and is behind a fabulous array of music including the whines of a musical saw that sounds as though it is coming from an old gramophone, a plaintive Spanish air and, of course, Peter and the Wolf.

Lemoine takes elements of what we believe to be a well-known fairy tale – the hungry wolf; the dark woods; the hidden cottage with all its homely comforts; the little girl with red clothes; the need to be invited to “lift the latch” and the seductive voice of flattery in the likes of “What big eyes you have!” –and turns them inside out.

This version that harks back to the unsanitised 17th century original tale by Charles Perrault le Petit Chaperon Rouge, is beautifully symbolised by the pair of empty boots of the huntsman. This personification of the wolf howls his reminder of his timeless significance in other tales like the Three Little Pigs. He bays that he is that grey shadow in the hall; that annoying damp patch in the basement; that eternal ubiquitous creepy presence when you sense ill ease. This wolf man has to deal with being “hairy inside” yet longs to be told again to ‘lift the latch’ and be let in to the cosy home whose contents he remembers so vividly. And all the while we try to keep the wolf from the door.

Red Riding Hood herself narrates her side of the story as an older woman with hints of a sexual element and collusion but the whole thing is reminiscent of the old Maurice Chevalier song Oh yes I remember it well. If the wolf really ate her, she would not have grown old. This is a subverted, surreal and self- referential exposé of a once familiar fairy tale brought to life with great inventiveness, humour and panache.

This performance was bsl interpreted.

age recommend 14+
Tuesday 3 February