Peta Lily, Beg

Review in Issue 5-1 | Spring 1993

Lily is the cool, calm gynaecologist, Dr Second, suspected of a ghastly murder in this fairy tale romance (and menace) and horror story. Philip Pellew plays with deft versatility the squeaky-voiced investigator Stiltskin, and Bobby the Dog, who periodically mutates into Robert the tall dark stranger. With a minimal set of white curtains (against which stark blood-red imagery abounds) and use of atmospheric filmic music, the dramatic dialogue unfolds. We are taken through Dr Second's father's death, her disguised comical karaoke seduction of the guileless Stiltskin to the final gruesome murder.

Dr Second is a woman self-possesed and in control, remaining aloof from, or dominating, all the male characters, ultimately to the point of violent attack. Although we never discover the motivation for her, at times, alarming behaviour, the possibility of simply taking fairy stories too literally may provide the answer.

This macabre tale is told with much humour, the characters remaining deadpan. Treading a fine line between serious plot and at times slapstick delivery, it is a rare treat of intelligent entertainment from an undeniably talented writer and performer.

From the issue 5-1 collection of reviews, written by Jackie Adkins, Sarah Dawson, Desmond Jones, Jonathan Megaw, Shani Solomons, Brendan Stapleton and Paul Vates.

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Issue 5-1
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