Emma Rice’s Blue Beard to make world premiere with UK tour

Blue Beard poster

A new adaptation of Blue Beard from Wise Children is to make its world premiere with a UK tour.

Artistic Director of Wise Children, Emma Rice will direct and adapt the French folktale in a co-production with Birmingham Rep, HOME Manchester, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and York Theatre Royal.

The cast includes Robyn Sinclair, Isabel Adomakoh Young, Stu Barker, Mirabelle Gremaud, Stephanie Hockley, Patrycja Kujawska, Adam Mirsky, Katy Owen and Tristan Sturrock.

The show opens at Theatre Royal Bath on 8 February, with previews from 2 February 2024, and runs until 10 February, before embarking on a UK tour to venues starting at Manchester HOME (13 – 24 February), York Theatre Royal (27 February – 9 March), The Lyceum Edinburgh (12 – 30 March), Birmingham Rep (9 – 20 April) and Battersea Arts Centre (23 April – 18 May).

Blue Beard the Magician makes hearts flutter and pupils dilate. With a wink, a stroke and a flick – things just seem to vanish. Cards, coins, scarves… and women.

Puff! Gone. Without a trace.

He meets his match when his young bride discovers his dark and murderous secret. She summons all her rage, all her smarts and all her sisters to bring the curtain down on his tyrannous reign.

Emma Rice brings her own brand of theatrical wonder to this most beguiling and disturbing of tales. With her signature sleight of hand, Blue Beard explores curiosity and consent, violence and vengeance – all through an intoxicating lens of music, wit and tender truth.

When someone tells you not to look, OPEN THE BLOODY DOOR!

Further creatives joining the team include Stu Barker (Composer), Vicki Mortimer (Set and Costume designer), Simon Baker (Sound and Video designer), Malcolm Rippeth (Lighting Designer), Etta Murfitt (Movement Director and Choreographer) and Ian Ross (Musical Supervisor and Arranger).

Emma Rice said: “Not wanting to add to the number of dead women that are scattered throughout our literature and media, I have always avoided the gruesome tale of Blue Beard. However, haunted by the regular and painful chime of murdered woman in the news, I woke one morning with the story knocking powerfully at my dreams. I pulled my copy from the shelves and with some trepidation, unlocked the door of Blue Beard’s castle.

“What I found hidden in those pages was a story not about dead women but about vibrant, flawed, joyful living ones. Here was a story about female friendship, intellect and survival. It is also a story in which, by working together, the aggressor is vanquished. And this is precisely why I want to tell Blue Beard now. In my middle years I want to join forces with those I love and take down the ones who threaten us. I, for one, have had enough, and for Zara Aleena, Jack Taylor, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman, Daniel Whitworth, Sarah Everard and the thousands and thousands of others who have died at the hands of violent men – Blue Beard is my defiant and hopeful answer.”

For more information, visit wisechildrendigital.com

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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