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Confronting tour-de-force for Sydney Fringe from 1 Sept - DARK VANILLA JUNGLE by Philip Ridley

BY Sirmai Arts Marketing | 18-Aug-2015
CONFRONTING, POETIC, IMPORTANT THEATRE: AND NOWHERE TO HIDE. Dynamic young artist-driven theatre company Mad March Hare (Shivered, A Moment on the Lips) returns with a beautiful, breathtaking drama about one girl’s craving for family and home… and the lengths she will go to achieve them. Claudia Barrie gives a tour-de-force solo performance in award-winning Dark Vanilla Jungle - a powerful one-hander by one of the UK’s greatest contemporary writers, Philip Ridley (Tender Napalm, Vincent River, Piranha Heights).
“There’s not another woman in sight. They’re all at home behind bolted doors and locked windows where they should be. I’m a fool to be out this time of night. I deserve what I get. I’m provoking it. If I get acid thrown in my face I’ll only have myself to blame.”

Dark Vanilla Jungle is an intricate, eye-widening story. It follows a young girl who has been abandoned by her family, becomes entangled with a gang who have groomed her for sex and then finds herself so alone she attaches herself to a seriously ill soldier. In her mind he is the one person left who cannot reject her.

Co-directed by Fiona Hallenan-Barker and Emma Louise who collaborated on Ridley’s Piranha Heights in 2012, the production also reunites actor/producer Barrie with production designer Benjamin Brockman who worked together on the popular and critically acclaimed Shivered earlier this year. Plus movement coach Shondelle Pratt. Together they create a world that is simultaneously menacing and poetic in the intimate and edgy Old 505 Theatre. The audience become voyeurs, teetering on the verge of becoming participants. There is nowhere to hide…

The issues addressed in this play are devastating and all too current says Barrie: the dangers women face all over the world on a daily basis; grooming of young women for sex; emotional and physical abuse and what can happen to a vulnerable child who slips through the cracks of the system.

“Very few plays confront such complex issues so courageously. There are also moments of great humour; both bittersweet and paradoxically tragic. This play speaks right to the heart of each audience member. It is not ‘easy’ theatre. But it is important.”

“A masterpiece… an absolute must-see.” ★★★★★ – Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
“Shattering in its impact… sears the mind.” ★★★★ – The Scotsman