Sweetness has tooth

"Handless" is a superbly executed presentation of the Ragged Wing Ensemble's current season at the center stage on the Richmond El Cerrito border.The set decoration, costumes, effects and audio mixing effortlessly flow together drawing the audience further in to this twisted relm.

    The story, based on the Brothers Grimm tale of the handless maden, and is result of a year-long obsession for writer and director Amy Sass. When you pick up the devil at the side of the road, what else could he want more than the hand of your lovely daughter. And you would be lucky to catch this talented troupe, before they fly on to the next performance.



Martin Goodman said...

Overall, Handless was an outstanding production.

Ragged Wing showed its past exceptional creativity in working with the limitations of its budget and venues to product intriguing, first rate sets and staging. The acting was excellent. First rate, even judged against the highest of standards (the NY City Broadway productions I am accustoming to attending). The rendering of the trees was, in particular, a technical masterpiece. Technically complex, working perfectly, and esthetically superb.

The adaptation of the bizarre and dreamy fairy tale was notablbly well done. The acting was excellent, including (notably) that of the child-actors in this production. It is an immense tribute to the writing, staging, and acting that even the most disturbing scenes (such as the cutting off of the girl's hands) are worked into the story so well and smoothly that don't have gratuitous shock value, but instead become integrated (tho notable) parts of tale.

My only criticism is a personal one, reflecting my taste in what I like to see in works of art of this kind (cinema, theatre): This long production had few moments in which the story depicted on the stage seemed particularly relevant to either the social and political world I lived in, or to the realities of my own present or past personal human to human interactions. The devil was delightfully rendered, but his motivations in the story remained completely obscure to me. There were a very few "coming of age" scenes, notably the one where the young boy has to deal with the girl's first menstruation, which did feel real and relevant to the reality I know, but not too many such.

Still, fantasy with only occasional touches of relevance to reality, is entertaining to many, and even I can appreciate a dose of it now and then, when done exceptionally well. Tho I prefer Rushdie or Lovecraft to the Brothers Grimm.

blueangel said...

Lovecraft (HP?) is relevant in any way at all to your reality? Where (and when) are you?
But perhaps because I am a woman, I find that having my hands cut off (metaphorically) is quite relevant (and also quite poignant), especially when taking into consideration the entire world of women...