Edinburgh Fringe 2011
The story of the motherless sisters, whose taxidermist father has never quite been the same since their mothers death, Constance and Sinestra deal with various trials and tribulations. This work is perfect for the next Tim Burton movie. Patrick Gleeson’s new musical, premiering at this years fringe is delightfully creepy and has a powerful, haunting, contemporary score which is bound to excite and captivate audience for a long time to come.
Presented in the decrepit studio space at C Soco, Constance and Sinestra live in a world of fantastical and bizarre characters, all of whom fit this wonderful world perfectly. What is particularly exciting here is just how Gleeson creates a world so far removed from recognisable reality yet seems completely acceptable to its audience. This is a musical which allows the audience to transform into a fantasy land and run away with narrative which unfolds.
Each of the cast members beautifully take on the characters they are playing, and become so involved and invested in the work that we accept the bizarre world and their unexplainable actions. Each character is as quirky and unique as the next, from the youngest daughter Sinestra, who collects screams and is described from the offset as being “slightly strange”, to the new blind neighbour Victor Vanderscab, the characters inhabit their environment and articulate their stories perfectly.
Of course, with material such as this it is often easy for the world created to become disconnected and removed from the audience. Credit must be given to the director, whom from the preset onwards creates a perfect balance between the fantastical and the haunting, allowing the audience to become emmersed in the world of Constance and Sinestra.
The tale of these two young sisters is certainly a musical that can grow and grow. It is a wonderful hour of escapism for its audience, and we were left wanting more. It would be great to see this show expanded from its one act form into a full scale show, exploring the world in more detail and allowing the audience to further invest in its protagonists. Nonetheless, this is a remarkable piece of new writing, showcasing Gleeson’s talents and making him a composer to watch in the near future.