Browse reviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2015


Ramesh Meyyapan

Genre: Physical Theatre

Venue: Greenside @ Infirmary Street


Low Down

Using mime, puppetry, and music Ramesh Meyyapan presents an adaptation of Madame Butterfly.


Ramesh Meyyapan brings Butterfly to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an adaptation of Madame Butterfly using voiceless performances, puppetry, mime, and music to portray a story of love, hope, and freedom.

The butterflies, and kites serve as a visual representation of this freedom and their diminishing appearances as the story progresses shows the suppression of it. Though their continued presence is a symbol of hope through difficult situations,

The butterflies that are captured and pinned as decoration echo the situation of the free spirited kitemaker herself who becomes pinned by the ultimately jealous and violent love between her and the butterfly collector. The change from a kite filled set to one dominated by captured butterflies shows her devotion to him and how he is consuming her life, the visual of the jars of the imprisoned creatures creates powerful imagery and serves as a reminder on how important it is not retain ourselves regardless of those around us.

Body language and expressions are used to full effect with each movement being deliberate and serving only to push the performance which leaves no room for confusion as the story unfolds. The set is designed for ease and to aid the flow of the piece, and as with the movements, each prop is used only to further the narrative. The cast use the props with such precision they appear as an extension of themselves creating a deeper visual experience, Nicola Daley playing the kitemaker is especially good at this

The puppetry, by Gavin Glover, is incredible both in it’s design and it’s manipulation. It feels so real it is impossible not to care for the silent puppet character and become invested in the relationship between the child puppet and mother. The nightmarish projection, onto one of the kites that make up part of the set, is brilliantly executed and adds another element into an already diverse performance. Lighting is used to great effect and the music, composed by David Paul Jones, adds a lot to the atmosphere and is almost a character in itself as it flows with the narrative and the movements of the cast.

All of these elements entwine with ease to create a mesmerizing show that elicits genuine emotion and draws the audience into a visually stunning and incredibly evocative world.