‘Exploring power & manipulation’: About Lady White Fox With Nine Tales – Edinburgh Fringe

In Dance, Edinburgh Festival, Festivals, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Assembly George Square (Venue 17), Edinburgh
Until 27 August 2018

Shakespeare’s work is very much of his time and place, with his universality much more embedded in Western culture. Seeing a Korean company stake a claim on Macbeth and intersperse the story with its own cultural myths and legends is a potent reminder of the relevance of his stories and themes, and provides a unique filter for Western audiences to take in his work. There are plenty of issues with this physical theatre piece, but its use of the text as a starting point for a different story is a hugely refreshing take.

Lady White Fox is a powerful, woodland creature with nine tails (and tales) who here is on a quest to create some sort of magnum opus. To do this, she needs 1,000 human livers. This is where the soul is considered to live, and consuming these livers is the only way to become human. She recruits another fox to harvest the final soul she needs from the nation’s king. This is where the story intersects with Macbeth, as this fox is tasked with murdering the king and he will then become leader.

Grotesque creatures with lumpen white masks and crudely cut faces snarl promises of kingship, and Lady White Fox paints stark lines interspersed with handprints like a cave painting. It’s not clear how her aims mesh with Macbeth’s, though she clearly has the powers of Hecate.

Much is conveyed with sinewy, slow choreography and dark coloured lighting, even though the dialogue is sparse and often muddled to the point it has little bearing on its source. There are moments of confusion and the ending is vague and sudden, but the visual elements are mesmeric. Projected subtitles translate the spoken Korean into English, though this is primarily a movement piece exploring power and manipulation.

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Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.
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Laura Kressly on RssLaura Kressly on Twitter
Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.

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