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Grand-Guignol On The Prairie
Presented by a five-person local company of uniform excellence, this 60-minute production is not a do-over of last year’s Grand-Guignol Sur La Prairie, but a different collection of blood-soaked nefariousness (literally, so sit well away from the stage) in the tradition of France’s infamous theatre of horrors.
Split up with diverting cabaret-style performances of songs by Noel Coward, Magnetic Fields and others, the first two plays are actual Grand-Guignol works, with the style’s distinctive blend of carnage, melodrama, psychological torment and gothic humour. In The Kiss of Blood, Kevin Klassen is hilariously over-the-top as a surgeon forced to amputate a mysterious man’s finger; in Chop-Chop!, a vampy Alicia Johnston is an adulteress who likes to live — and love — on the edge.
The final episode, The Sisters’ Tragedy by British playwright Richard Hughes, is a genuinely disturbing work about a trio of sisters figuratively held captive by their handicapped brother. Charlene Van Buekenhout in particular stands out as the precocious youngest sister, struggling to reconcile religion and morality. It’s a testament to the company’s skill that it succeeds in taking the audience from melodrama to drama.
— Jill Wilson
From the official Fringe Festival guide:
From the company who brought you last year’s Fringe hit "Le Grand-Guignol Sur La Prairie", a new evening of horror.
Featuring “The Kiss of Blood,” “Chop-Chop!” and “The Sister’s Tragedy.” Random operations with bloody results, hilarious affairs of the heart (and head), and twisted morals leading to psychological terror!
This year’s Guignol offers shocking delights for the senses!
Warnings: Subject Matter, Some immoral & violent behaviour
RECOMMENDED: Mature Audience
Ragpickers Theatre (Venue 13), to Saturday
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