First, a little intro so you have an idea of what all the raving is about:
Starring Helpmann Award-winning actress Ursula Yovich (Capricornia, The Secret River and ABC TV’s Gods of Wheat Street and Redfern Now), this celebrated evening of song and storytelling is a deliciously dark interpretation of classic Grimms’ fairy tales.Sounds really interesting, right? (If I were in Oz for the conference , I'd certainly be joining a bunch of AFTS folk to go see this at Riverside Paramatta (oh to be able to see a fairy tale event with fairy tale folk!) Take a look at the promo video:
The Magic Hour is set in a contemporary urban landscape and tells the stories of fairy tales’ sidelined characters including Rapunzel’s captor, Red Riding Hood’s granny and Cinderella’s ugly stepsister.
A gutsy one-woman comedy, The Magic Hour reveals the rich social commentary embedded in these magical tales and reflects on the gritty lives of the women that inspired the characters with a haunting realism.
Written by award-winning Australian playwright Vanessa Bates (Chipper, Porn. Cake, Every Second), The Magic Hour is the swansong production for Deckchair Theatre and promises an evening of no sugar-coated children’s stories.
And there's a great summary review courtesy of The Blurb Magazine, which details more of the performance that only makes me want to see it all the more. Here's a taste:
It began with the set, a beautifully lit open space with a corrugated and wood gypsy-style caravan and the trappings of an Aboriginal outback camp site designed by Alicia Clements. Props and costumes were cleverly tucked away in various drawers, and windows and shutters opened and closed to add another dimension to the stories. Joe Lui’s lighting design shone brightly on the caravan and let the edges drift into darkness; a perfect setting for some dark tales.
Ursula Yovich wandered onto the set, talked to the audience, and checked how her pumpkin soup was cooking on her bush stove. Then she began telling her stories and, with a variety of shawls, fur, wraps and coats, body language and a change of vocal tone she created many different and very real characters. The props were hung out on a washing line at the end of each story, which gave the show a neat continuity.
She had the sell-out audience enthralled and proved what a brilliant storyteller she is. She weaved a spell as she retold six traditional fairytales penned by Vanessa Bates that were set well away from the original locations.
... It truly was fairytales like you’ve not heard them before. Why: because they were told from angle of other characters in the story. The essence of the ancient tales remained while the people became modern and fractured; the sick, the dispossessed, druggies, the victims who had slipped through the cracks.You can read the whole, much longer, review HERE.
And I want a full report from the AFTS conference attendees who are lucky enough to go see this please! (Pretty please..?)