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Brighton Fringe 2010

Barbe Bleu

Theatre Temoin

Venue: Upstairs at Three and Ten


Low Down

A lone artist sits in her room waiting for inspiration.  All she wants is the colour blue to complete her painting and when a strange man appears in her wardrobe with that very colour, she sets off on a journey of lust, inspiration and danger.


The minute the audience walked into Upstairs at Three and Ten, we were instantly drawn to the stage as we saw a girl alone on stage leaning against a wall.  The minute she started walking, it indicated a most unusual and bizarre journey into her world of being an artist.

The fact that she was French speaking did not distract from the story being told as she switched from both her native and English accent, depending on the circumstances at the time. 

Julia Yevnine’s use of mine and physical theatre drew us in very quickly from the start.  It was obvious that she couldn’t sleep very well and was trying to find inspiration from her art to help her sleep properly.  At times though, there was one person laughing in the audience during these sequences.  This made the action a little confusing at first as it was not clear whether it was a comedy or a serious psychological play we were watching.

Despite this, the action picked up and got into a really good rhythm in which comedy was explored in a darker way.  Especially when the puppets started coming into play (operated by Lyndal Marwick).  We were introduced to the strange Mr Bleu who wore an old coat that our main lady became very attached to as the wardrobe became magic and releasing items she required, such as paint.  From hereonin, the audience became hooked as the dance of seduction began and then brought swiftly back down to earth as the two dead wives of Mr Bleu told us morbid tales on what he used to do with them.

The puppeteer did a good job of switching between voices, but did at one point fall into the trap of having a similar voice to the other characters created. 

Tension was built and the dance of mesmerising love and death was gradually escalated.  When the suprise ending occured, we felt somewhat satisfied at having an intense experience of several emotions and revelations at the same time.  To find out what this suprise ending is, you have to see the show to believe it!

Touching, sensitive and morbidly funny, this different interpretation of Bluebeard left me wanting more.


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