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Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

1927 are a trio of frightfully horrid gels, whose parlour room entertainments are possessed with a deliciously nasty turn of phrase. Like pasty-faced relics in their Sunday best, the tales they tell are cut-glass vignettes drawn from the darker recesses of Suzanne Andrade and Esme Appleton’s somewhat disturbed imagination. In this Edinburgh Fringe debut compendium, such after-hours felicities as The Biscuit Tin Revolution and Choo Choo Chat’s Nine Deaths become the stuff of perfectly poised nightmares. As for what the terrible twins do with their brand new Grand-mother plucked from the front row is too scarifying to whisper.

Accompanied by Lillian Henley’s piano and occasional musical saw, this hour-long concoction of Paul Bill Barrett’s ingenious antique chalk-board animation, sepia tinted film footage and fairytale nightmares are served with relish and restraint. Imagine Shockheaded Peter’s gory grotesques with elocution lessons which cause Andrade and Appleton to sound as innocent and as menacing as Sarah Nixey on Black Box Recorder’s equally icky song, Child Psychology.

For an hour’s respite from relentlessly jolly japes, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea is a scrummy and unmissable feast of utterly English Edwardiana gone very very bad.

Written for The Herald, August 2007, but unused due to someone else being commissioned.



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