Tigers in The Wisteria is a 30-minute monologue in digital format that was inspired by Ottoline Morrells Stonemason ‘Tiger’. The digital monologue is available in virtual format and is a performance for Greater Manchester Fringe Digital Events. Written by award winning writer, Lita Doolan, it tells the story of a challenging romance and all its complexities. Doolan is undoubtedly a talent and has had a previous show at the Manchester Fringe with her digital show ‘After Shark’ which is nominated for an Off West End Award.
The film is only 30 minutes and for the first few minutes ‘Tigers In the Wisteria initially feels chaotic and somewhat complex to the viewer. Set in 1922, it is a story about Lady Morrell who is searching frantically for the correct love letter to put in a memorial for her loved one, ‘Tiger’. The film is visually stylish and contains imagery and scenes of an overgrown garden, houses and takes place at different times of the day. A beautiful comparison to the frenzy in the film is the sense of calm she finds in a Church.
In some ways the film lacks a fluidity that would enable clarity for the audience. However, it soon becomes clear that the story is simply about the search for a love letter that Ottoline wants to leave for her loved one. Her intense obsession with leaving it feels tragic and frenetic and there is a sense that the viewer is travelling along with her in her quest. This is where the artistic imagery and film complements the narrative wonderfully. The story represents a love that is complex and intense. It provides a feeling that we are travelling along with the story and searching for the letter with Ottoline.
The narrative is highlighted with a female intense voice- seductive and passionate, slow and intense, it entices the viewer to continue the quest to the end.
This digital monologue will not appeal to all, and it could be suggested that perhaps 30 minutes is not long enough to allow the story to develop a depth for the viewer. However, in so many ways it is absolutely worth watching. Imagery has a 1920’s enchanting sentiment about it. It is certainly a complex narrative about love and desire and as Doolan suggests it is about the sacrifices that we make for those we care for.
‘Tigers in the Wisteria’ is being shown throughout July for ‘The Greater Manchester Fringe’ festival and free tickets can be obtained for a digital download from the Greater Manchester Fringe Website, https://www.greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk/
If you want to step outside your comfort zone of ‘traditional’ theatre then ‘Tigers In the Wisteria’ will provide an interesting narrative about passion, complex emotion and intense romance and is visually fascinating to watch. The narrative entices you to continue to the end as the story highlights the many complex emotions of Ottoline Morrell.
Reviewer: Angela Kelly
Reviewed: 3rd July 2023
North West End UK Rating: