Butterfly

A haunting and powerful adaptation of Madame Butterfly, Ramesh Meyyappen’s silent movement piece about love, lust and loss is hauntingly powerful and will stay with you long after you’ve seen it.

Extremely evocative, moving and powerful.

It starts very slowly, with a saccharine sweet love story interlaced with kite flying and butterfly catching. It’s all very beautiful, though it feels too sweet and even a little dull in the production’s first twenty minutes. But then, out of nowhere, things take a dark and disturbing turn. And you realise that all the saccharine that precedes it only adds to the power of what follows. This is an intelligent, psychological production that is not for the faint of heart.

All the things that were beautiful at the beginning become machinations of horror and psychological damage. It’s an intuitive, disturbing and honest study of the lasting trauma of rape. It’s bleak, harrowing and even maddening. As it should be. Whilst not an easy watch, it is a mesmerisingly powerful one. With a fantastic set - featuring haunting imagery with majestic lighting, movement, puppets and shadow puppetry - Butterfly begins like a dream and ends as a disturbing recurring nightmare. David Paul Jones’ piano score accompanies the moods and actions of its characters brilliantly, even if at times it is a little repetitive and perhaps a little too simple for some.

The performances are also fantastic, particularly from the lead who flutters through turmoils of extreme emotion as quickly as the butterflies flutter their wings. This piece has impressive and psychological imagery, involving the horrors and fears of what has happened and will happen, hauntingly mirroring the beautiful imagery created in the beginning of the show. If you’re feeling strong you might want to watch it again to notice it all.

Extremely evocative, moving and powerful. This is a beautiful and haunting performance that deserves watching, listening to and absorbing. Just don’t expect it to be a gentle viewing.

Reviews by Dave House

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The Blurb

A striking adaptation of Madame Butterfly, exploring themes of love, loss and hope. Told without words, this haunting piece uses visually poetic narrative, handcrafted puppets (by Gavin Glover, National Theatre of Scotland’s A Christmas Carol) and a beautiful score (by David Paul Jones) to tell the tale of Butterfly, a kitemaker. This lush, textured, innovative piece of theatre played to sold out audiences across Scotland, earlier in 2014. ‘…an exquisite 60-minute piece of wordless theatre… beautiful, tragic, and true’ **** (Scotsman). ‘A truly amazing experience and a triumphant piece of theatre’ ***** (EdinburghGuide.com). ‘Ravishing’ **** (Herald). www.madeinscotlandshowcase.com