1927, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Review in Issue 19-4 | Winter 2007

The lights catch the eye of the bowler-hatted pianist (Miss Lillian Henley), poised adroitly at her instrument, surveying the audience with a pursed smile. A key is struck and the show begins. Using mime, live music, and a mix of film and live 2D animation, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a cornucopia of lush visuals that evoke the year of company’s title, 1927. Brilliantly crafted vignettes fly off the stage and into our subconscious – and it is funny as hell too. Although the piece owes much to sketch comedy in its construction, it also borrows heavily from the dark imagery of Surrealists Georges Bataille and Man Ray. Each new tale slithers from the stage with equal measures of hilarity and vicious glee.

There’s careful attention to detail and a sinister strangeness as we are taken to a macabre land of creepy twins, dismembered athletes and ghost cats and dogs.

We are led by the hand into this strange world by Miss Suzanne Andrade and Miss Esme Appleton; both performers of this Breton-esque sideshow straight out of a Christian Schad painting. Almost stealing the show are the films and animations created by the fourth member of the company, Master Paul Bill Barritt.

1927 are a force to be reckoned with, winning a Total Theatre Award amongst a host of other accolades (Fringe First, Herald Angel and the Carol Tambor, which will send them to New York in 2008). A brilliant show from a company to watch out for.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2007

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-4
p. 28