(An adult interpretation of Hans Christian Andersonís The Little Mermaid)
Whilst retaining the fairytale enchantment of the original fable, La Petite Mort restores its dark tone in an absorbing visual reinterpretation created for modern adult audiences by Company:Collisions.
In brief, the original story by Hans Christian Anderson tells of a young mermaid who yearns for the world above the sea. Her wish is fulfilled and in the overland she falls in love. In order to be united with her loved one, her tongue is cut out and she is cursed to feel every footstep as though she were walking on glass. As a human, there is one crucial proviso: her mortality depends on her love being requited. Tragically it is not, and the daughters of the air carry her soul away.
La Petite Mort takes the core narrative and swathes it in a dreamlike atmosphere, evoking the universal themes of innocence, loss and the triumph of the human spirit.
Building on a reputation for startling visuals, Company:Collisions continues to work with Brighton design company Hard As Frock, whose fusion of fetish and industrial influences underpin such images as rope-bound mermaids suspended from scaffolding.
The production also boasts an original soundtrack from award-winning composer Jules Dearing, whose work proved a success in the companyís previous show, Frankenstein.
Directed by Tanushka Marah, winner of one of The Young Vic Young Director Award 2002, and guest directed by Denise Evans, La Petite Mort features a strong female cast of four, dance and theatre, both on the ground and in the air. Rich with Romantic imagery, this is a fitting follow up to Frankenstein, which earned five-star reviews at Edinburgh 2000.