Paper lanterns and origami wings: a ghostly Madama Butterfly at Grimeborn

Puccini: Madama Butterfly ****

Grimeborn Festival, Arcola Theatre, 26th August 2015

It’s dangerous when a production is touted as “revelatory”. We were promised a “haunting psychological rendering” of Madama Butterfly by director Julia Burbach, “radically reframed” and inspired by Japanese folkloric ghost stories. Entering the Arcola Studio to find Natasha Jouhl in blood-spattered white gown, feverishly chalking tallies on the floor, it quickly became obvious we’d be viewing events in flashback. Butterfly beyond the grave: an intriguing proposition, but did it work?

Natasha Jouhl (Cio-Cio San) © Robert Workman

Natasha Jouhl (Cio-Cio San)
© Robert Workman

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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