City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Butterfly, manipulate Festival, Review


By Alex Eades - Posted on 06 February 2015

5
Show Details
Venue: 
Traverse Theatre
Production: 
Ramesh Meyyappan (Writer/Director),Neil Warmington (Set & Costume Designer), Gavin Glover (Puppet Director & Maker), David Paul Jones (Composer), Darren Brownlie (Choreographer)
Performers: 
Ramesh Meyyappan (Nabokov), Ashley Smith (Butterfly), Martin McCormick (Customer)
Running time: 
70mins

“And she was mine, she was mine, the key was in my fist, my fist was in my pocket, she was mine…You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go.”
- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

It’s true what they say about silence. Given a little time, space and oxygen, it has the most authoritive of voices. When all the words have ran out, all that remains is the raw, unrelenting force of truth. Butterfly requires and delivers not a word in its 70-minute running time. The only voice is that of the human soul, which aches and shivers in the shadow of impending tragedy. What begins with the cooling flutter of the wings of innocence soon whips up into a frantic storm of love, loss and grief.

Inspired by John Long’s short story Madame Butterfly and the Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov, this startling piece of physical theatre is visual poetry at its most textured, gorgeous best. The movement and puppet work hold the senses without compromise and guides us into a haunted landscape of nightmarish imagery.

The emotional punch it delivers is enough to bring a tear to the eye and, along with the tender keys of the piano throughout, it sings to you like a dark lullaby, pulling at your heart strings as if we too were puppets in its black, twisted world.

Its end is truly chilling and will remain with you long after. From start to finish it builds into something quite powerful and even shocking. A truly amazing experience and a triumphant piece of theatre.