Wednesday 5th – Friday 7th February
by Hattie Naylor
Ustinov Studio @ Theatre Royal Bath
After critical acclaim at the Bristol Old Vic and at the Soho Theatre, London, BLUEBEARD, the first production from Gallivant, comes to the Ustinov next month.
With the proliferation of news stories about online abuse and the objectification of women in the media, Hattie Naylor’s Bluebeard is a timely and provocative exploration of sexually motivated violence. As female public figures routinely receive threats of sexual abuse online, are we complicit in the act by allowing it to happen?
“An outstanding performance, compelling, alluring, charming and terrifying” Bristol 24/7
This new play by the writer of Sound and Fury’s Going Dark (2012) and the Olivier Award nominated Ivan and The Dogs (2010) invites the audience into Jim’s chamber to share in his hidden pastimes. Beautiful, dark and horrible, Bluebeard takes inspiration from the French folk tale of the same name – a bloody fable of a nobleman who has murdered many of his past wives, and his latest spouse, who seeks to escape the same fate. As bystanders amid terrible online abuse of figures like #slanegirl, Caroline Criado-Perez and MP Stella Creasy, does our continued tolerance allow it to be acceptable and therefore proliferate?
Writer Hattie Naylor has won several national and international awards for her plays, and has had over forty plays, three short stories, and an opera broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and / or 3. Regarding her motivations for writing Bluebeard, she says:
“There has been a consistent disregard for feminist values for some time, epitomized in the recent argument with Facebook regarding female imagery, the proliferation of violent pornography, and even in so called “mommy porn” like Fifty Shades of Grey. We wanted to make a piece that questions us, the audience, and our complicity in the acts that Bluebeard commits. Why are we titillated by this? And is this ok? We have allowed this material to slip under our radar unchallenged and despite women being more equal on a surface level, subtly we find women are in a considerably worse position than they were 20 years ago, and they have possibly been complicit in letting it happen.”
Gallivant are a new company whose founder members will be familiar to Bath audiences from their extensive work at the egg and Ustinov Studio. They are writer and joint Artistic Director Hattie Naylor, director and joint Artistic Director Lee Lyford, designer Hayley Grindle, composer Paul Dodgson and producers Katherine Lazare and Kerrie Avery. Hattie and Lee have worked together on many productions including The Judgement of Macbeth, The French Detective and the Blue Dog, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Ben Hur, My Life as a Fairytale, The Nutcracker and The Odyssey.
“The four-cornered creative axis of Lyford, Naylor, Dodgson and Grindle have a very particular and hugely successful approach to making theatre … a formidable creative team” Venue
Bluebeard is at the Ustinov Studio on Wednesday 5th – Friday 7th February. Tickets are on sale now from the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844, or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk/
Venue: Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath
Dates: Wednesday 5th – Friday 7th February 2014
Performances: Evenings 8pm;
Box Office: 01225 448844, www.theatreroyal.org.uk/