I am in the public change rooms of the Bondi Pavilion and there is a naked man in front of me. No, this is not an excerpt from George Michael’s diary, but an interlude from Bluebeard; or the Marriage Mistakes of a Nameless Bride, a quirky and compelling show appearing this week as a part of Bondi Feast.
This take on the Charles Perrault story of Bluebeard follows a mating ritual infused with distinct Australian traditions. A couple meet and return to his place where the seduction scene that plays out seems more like a cryptic game of cat and mouse than a date.
The drama is interspersed with music from Gideon Payten-Griffiths, who acts as our guide for the night, a kind of mariner-cum-Pied Piper who punctuates the show with a flexible clarinet (no, that is not a euphemism). Curly Fernandez and Melissa Hume expertly play a couple who have just discovered each other and are not phased by their age difference.
The ‘bride’ (Melissa Hume) discovers her potential destiny as her predecessors fates are left hanging as evidence but she is not your typical woman, so may escape a similar grisly fate. Staged well, except a little hard to follow the action at first as it played out in two cubicle spaces, so visibility was a bit of a problem at times. Director Michael Dean has not only retained the gothic chill of the original, but put an amusing and modern spin on it, with some interesting twists.
Bluebeard; or the Marriage Mistakes of a Nameless Bride is presented by Lies, Lies and Propaganda and is on until 29 July, for more information and tickets see: http://bondifeast.com.au/bluebeard/
Featuring: Curly Fernandez and Melissa Hume
Director: Michael Dean
Original Concept by Curly Fernandez
Photography by Sasha Cohen
Live Music by Gideon Payten-Griffiths