Tuesday, April 23

Madame Modjeska’s Fairytale – Edinburgh Fringe

Madame’s Modjeska’s Fairytale, co-produced by Counter Balance Theater and Helena Modjeska Foundation, is a beautiful piece of art, combining beautiful illustration, hypnotic narration, and original physical theatre and expressive dance. Adapted and directed by Annie Loui, and based on the original text and illustrations from Titi, Nunu, Klemobolo or the Adventures of Two Lilac Boys and a Six-legged dog, by Madame Helena Modjeska, this is a pretty and unique adaption.

The piece opens with an embroidered book cover creaking open, and hand drawn illustrations dated 1896. A dedication to a grandchild is the opening to the magical and strange world of the fairytale, narrated in the dulcet tones of Ellen Dubin.

Beautiful art and stunning footage are bordered by the page edges of the book throughout the piece. We learn that today is Titi’s birthday, one of the children who live in this colourful and imaginative world. The children are represented through dance by Skye Schmidt and Thomas Varga which cleverly focuses on certain elements to create a sense of wonder.

The live footage of physical theatre beautifully blends with the artwork and illustrations creating a magical and mesmerising effect. Schmidt and Varga are both very talented physical theatre performers, and seamlessly become different animals working together. The kaleidoscope dance is hypnotic and a particular high point of the piece.

Madame Modjeska’s Fairytale is a beautiful and surreal piece of theatre, which puts a truly unique spin on storytelling. Giving life to a special and enchanting world, this captivating performance has a warm and magical feeling which leaves a gentle glow.

Madame Modjeska’s Fairytale is being streamed by Edinburgh Fringe until 30th August 2021. Tickets are available here https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/madame-modjeska-s-fairytale  

Reviewer: Donna M Day

Reviewed: 20th August 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★