Theatre Re’s folktale-inspired production Bluebelle, developed in collaboration with deaf and Visual Vernacular artists, comes to The Lowry this February. This atmospheric and visually striking show tells a brand new folk story, weaving together plots from tales by Angela Carter, Italo Calvino, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault.
The non-verbal production features live music and sound to reinforce the atmosphere and emotional journey of the characters. All sounds are created on stage by the performers using sound effects and non-lyrical singing voices. Theatre Re have worked with Visual Vernacular artists, who use this unique physical theatre technique incorporating poetry and mime, to challenge their practice and support their powerful visual storytelling. Through its physical and aesthetic style, Bluebelle is accessible to d/Deaf audiences without the need for BSL interpretation.
Long ago and far away, a king and queen are placed under a spell that affects their fertility. Summoning the Bluebell Fairy, they hope to become parents but magic comes at a cost. Bluebelle explores being a parent, new life and how to protect it. As well as drawing from old folktales, Theatre Re gathered interviews with parents and carers to form this moving journey into the wilderness of parenthood.
Director Guillaume Pigé comments, It is said that every theatre has ghosts. It is often believed that these theatre ghosts are former actors and that ghost lights – lamps left on stage – allow these spirits to perform and dance. What do they perform? What stories are they enacting over and over, for whom and why? Our exploration started with the question: why theatre? Over three years, our journey took us from corporeal mime to clown work, from imaginative transformation to visual vernacular, from rich musical textures to sound design, from philosophy to silliness, and from real life experiences to ancient folktales. The result is Bluebelle, a new tale about being a parent. It unravels our desires, our weaknesses, and ultimately our strength and ability to care for those born after us.
Bluebelle runs at The Lowry from 8-9 February.
Photo credit: Chris Nash