'Plucked' - Invisible Thread
Roundhouse Studio Theatre | London International Mime Festival
Yes, beware the wolf-man and the raven too, for in Plucked, a dark fairytale about desire and betrayal, the horny wolf does get the girl and the bitter crone raven will wreak her bitter revenge on you peck-by-peck.
Plucked is a story of hopes dashed and dreams destroyed – a brutal look at the female ageing process in archetypes from Maiden to Mother to Crone. It begins innocently enough in the garden, with a google-eyed puppet finding a mate and sharing a worm or two, and quickly builds to passionate love and fantastic sex scenes on the creaking board and scaffolding set, climaxing with hand shivering puppet orgasms. It is tragically comic and darkly disturbing.
As the strange offspring began to appear – a train, a high chair – the couple set up home. They mark the territory around their place with sticks and stones to keep others out and them in. The ardour begins to cool as one by one the babes flee the nest. Only bitterness and resentment are left behind.
There is no Hollywood glamour here, no soft focus lens; it's life in the raw and the harrowing descent from beauty to beast. The pain and anger in the piece are tangible, visceral in both puppet and paint on glass form. The humour is dark and brutal – a young girl innocently licks the bad wolf's spotty mushroom penis; the hag retreats to the dark forest and, there in her classic Faulty Optic style tower, she is too far gone for any galloping prince to rescue. She now embodies hatred and savagely destroys anyone who comes close.
Plucked is a feisty and fierce production, a reminder that hell has no fury... There's no fairytale ending in sight, but I, for one, am looking forward to the sequel.