Deconstructed fairytales have long made classic Fringe fare. After Bettelheim and Angela Carter we’re all aware of the latent warnings and desires lurking in their mythic outlines, rich and iconic – perfect for developing theme or subtext in new plays. Shona Reppe though, unpicks her fairy tale according to a material logic in this new installation production, and the result is as playful and intellectually satisfying as any cultural or psychological analysis.
We enter three by three, invited into a fully realised fairy tale world in which we are the not-so-little pigs. In a specially created environment built into the Traverse foyer we are taken on a journey through charmingly inventive rooms. We are the protagonists, there is no cast – our job is to explore. I don’t want to give away many of the details as every room is packed with surprises to discover, to notice, and enjoy – a process that’s rich and fun for adults but must be completely magical for children, who will appreciate its thorough and entrancing logic. The dramaturgy is completely satisfying – we move from room to room not only because this is a great way to create contrasting environments but because this, after all, is a story about houses. We are navigated by a prim storytelling voice who narrates the installation – guiding us through our movements and actions whilst remaining charmingly detached from our encounters with the space.
The rooms themselves, while joyously logical remain completely unpredictable. The show is beautifully produced, with the sort of impeccable eye for detail Reppe exhibited in her previous collaboration with Catherine Wheels, the multi-award wining White (2010). The whole thing is handed with a deft and delicate touch and is a perfect 25-minute treat. You will never look at bacon the same way again