The Blue Beard myth as retold by dresses, costumes and accessories

Click on the poster to go to the show gallery

The legendary tale inspired an international group of young artists from Finland, France, Russia, and Lithuania to create a visual-theatre production on the peculiarities of jealousy of the loved one’s past. Left alone in the castle, the young bride discovers that there may have been others before her. She enters the hidden space of her man’s secrets that leads her on to the dangerous path of self-exploration and… possibly… to the end of love.

IDEA AND DIRECTION: Anna Ivanova-Brashinskaya, Finland
PERFORMANCE, OBJECTS DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION: Polina Borisova/Maёlle Le Gall, France; Laura Hallantie/Paula Vilmi, Finland; Nanna Mäkinen, Finland;  Šarūnė Pečiukonytė, Lithuania; Vitalia Samuilova, Lithuania

LIGHT DESIGN Vadim Gololobov (Russian Engineering Theatre AKHE)
SOUND DESIGN Andrey Sizintsev, Russia (Russian Engineering Theatre AKHE)
SPECIAL THANKS TO Pavel Semchenko (Russian Engineering Theatre AKHE), Rene Baker, Kateřina Fojtíková

Premier: May 2011


Technical Info:
Stage: playing space width 8m x depth 8m x height 7 m; Auditorium: amphitheater;
Set up: 2 x 4h work shifts; Set down: 1 hour
Audience: max 200


Bluebeards and bloody chambers by Rohanne Udall, February 2013
Manipulate / Edinburgh by Julie Dawson, 06.02.2013
Manipulate 101: To The End Of Love, February, 2013
To the end of love, Traverse, Edinburgh by Mary Brennan, Dance critic; February, 2013
Buzzing and Tuning and Loving By thevilearts; February, 2013
An Evocative Review
By Joyce McMillan; February, 2013
Thriller With Jealousy, by Annina Karhu Turun Sanomat, 17.11.2012
Pieni tarina rakkauden kuolemisesta,  by Irmeli Haapanen, Turun Sanimat 5.5.2011

Passage from Irmeli Haapanen’s review in Turun Sanomat (Translation from Finnish into English Jussi Aaltonen): “Visuality is enthralling. If you forget the preview material and focus on what’s on the stage, the visuality and the varying moods of the show captivate you. A young woman (Polina Borisova), despite of the warnings of others, marries a man dressed – in this case – in blue. At first, all is just sweet pleasure but everything changes when the man travels away. The young bride starts to arrange the things in the house and in the locked suit bag she discovers her husband’s secret – the other women. The wordlessness and visuality of “To the End of Love” transform the story to an allegory of the old, familiar story where the man cheats and the woman must battle with other women – real or ghosts. In this version these other women are also abusers in part, because after playing around with the man they arrogantly throw him away to his wife’s arms. The way how the story is told in “To the End of Love” is more interesting than the story itself. The visual elements are bare and simple but most telling. The women are petticoats, the man is just a shell: a suit and a hat, but in the hands of Polina Borisova, Laura Hallantie, Nanna Mäkinen, Sarune Peciukonyte and Vitalia Samuilova they incredibly come to life.
Captivating petticoats. The butterfly net kind of petticoats are sometimes ghosts, sometimes physically captivating. The materials are brought to life not only by moving the clothes in different ways but also by stretching and billowing them. Breathing through a cloth tightened over the face concretizes the suffocating agony, and the betrayal that tears woman apart is illustrated well by moving the blue jacket from one woman to another. I also liked the closing scene where the wife perches alone on the floor wearing all her petticoats and on top is a garment that breaks apart at the touch, along with the crumbling dreams”.

“Although I did not find the traces of the gloomy story of Bluebeard obvious, I totally succumbed to its visual power. The author of the spectacle, Anna Ivanova-Brashinskaya from Finland, creates expressive, symbolic imagery made of daily material and without the assistance of words. The most characteristic feature of this production is probably the profoundly metaphorical nature of ostensibly commonplace and exclusively feminine activities. In a world of frocks, robes and omnipresent petticoats there exists only a single man. Or rather his icon, namely, trousers, a jacket and a hat, which prove to be quite sufficient for a figure composed of these masculine attributes to be manipulated, to exist in a comprehensive manner, and be capable of producing multiple dramatic events. The spectacle is created by excellent animation conceptions in which the prime role is played by ordinary objects and fabric, submissive to all creative operations. Thanks to simple animation  rods and the adroitness of the actresses (headed by the brilliant Polina Borisova) fragments of the clothes lose their mundane character& assume assorted shapes, and disclose astonishing meanings. Both in a dynamic flight over the stage and white immobile on a hanger they posses unusual sensuality and eroticism. At the same time, they guide us inside the emotional and spiritual world of a women”. Maria Schejbal. Charleville-Mézières: Why? Teatr Lalek. # 4/106/2011. P. 13


Manipulate: Edinburgh, Norwich, Aberdeen, Lochgelly. February 2013
Synergura International Puppet Theatre Festival: Erfurt, Germany, July 2012
Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes  de Charleville-Mézières, France, September 2011
Performing Arts in May Festival, part of the official program Turku 2011 European Capital of Culture; May 2011


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