Feminist cabaret sirens turn the murderous French folktale into a close-harmony theatrical delight. Touring September to October 2016.
“Highly unorthodox, highly imaginative… boisterous, sharp, witty and inventive.” Scotsman (on Fabulous Creatures)
In their signature style of sophisticated cabaret infused with close-harmony singing, comedy and a feminist kick, The Ruby Dolls are returning with their fifth full-length show, re-wiring centuries old French folktale of marriage, death and female curiosity for 2016. This disturbing tale of a powerful man who exists above the law and murders his wives will be performed with a heady mix of original songs across different genres, including folk, beat poetry and blues, alongside well known music from Nick Cave, Amy Winehouse, Beyoncé and Rage Against the Machine, all sung in original arrangements with a Ruby Dolls twist.
The Brides of Bluebeard takes inspiration from Perrault’s folktale Bluebeard and Angela Carter’s seminal 1970s version The Bloody Chamber. In 2016 the Dolls explore the societal roots of coercive relationships and how women can escape controlling structures through collaboration. The show examines how female lives have changed over centuries by setting different wives’ stories in contrasting time periods, and crucially gives its heroine agency – asking if the transgressive woman is ever rewarded in our society.
Returning to the ‘Calm Down Dear’ feminist performance festival at Camden People’s Theatre (following the success of their show Fabulous Creatures in 2014) they have been invited to perform at HighTide Festival and Paines Plough’s Roundabout space at Lincoln Arts Centre, as well as London and regional tour dates. The Ruby Dolls’ work is intimate and immediate: at its heart it is four women, four microphones and a pianist. Using the subversive political power of cabaret as well as theatrical storytelling, spoken word, comedy and intricate close-harmony singing of both original music and well-known songs, at every turn the Dolls ask questions about contemporary feminist issues, and challenge traditional, reductive expectations of the genre: pretty women in pretty dresses, singing pretty songs. Their ‘doll’ personas reflect the real interplay between the performers and create an atmosphere of honest, open dialogue live each night. Their coming together in harmony is a powerful metaphor.
The Ruby Dolls are a female cabaret ensemble established in 2009. They have spent 7 years re-defining cabaret as a genre through their particular blend of disciplines; politically conscious storytellers who sing in intricate four-part harmony. The Ruby Dolls have created four critically acclaimed productions: Ein Abend Mit Ruby (Soho Theatre/Tour), Rubies In The Attic (sold out run Riverside Studios & Edinburgh Festival co-produced with Assembly), Rubies In The Smoke (sold out St. James Theatre Studio) and Fabulous Creatures (Shoreditch Town Hall, Assembly Edinburgh Festival and Calm Down Dear Festival at Camden People’s Theatre).
The Brides Of Bluebeard is written by critically acclaimed cabaret ensemble The Ruby Dolls, with original music and arrangements written by the company. Directed by Iain Johnstone (Told By An Idiot, National Theatre Scotland) and Musical Direction by Benjamin Cox (Heritage Opera, Tooting Arts Club’s Sweeney Todd) this production is funded with the help of Arts Council England.
@therubydolls | #dollsontour | www.therubydolls.com
Running Time: 80 minutes | Suitable for ages 16+
Directed by Iain Johnstone
Musical direction by Benjamin Cox
Executive Producer Vanessa Stone
16 Sep Hightide Festival, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
8.30pm | £12 (£10 concs)
www.hightide.org.uk | 01728 573 101
24-25 Sep Camden People’s Theatre, London
58-60 Hampstead Rd, London NW1 2PY
9.00pm and 6.00pm | £12 (£10 concs)
www.cptheatre.co.uk | 020 7419 4841
29-30 Sep Shoreditch Town Hall, London
380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT
8pm | £12.50
www.shoreditchtownhall.com | 020 7739 6176
1st Oct Paines Plough’s Roundabout at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, LN6 7TS
8pm | £12.50
https://lpac.co.uk/search/roundabout | 01522 837600
6th Oct The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
4 Temple Row W, Birmingham B2 5NY
7.30pm | £12
www.oldjointstock.co.uk | 0121 200 1892
8th Oct Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford
Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LT
8pm | £12
www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk | 01785 619080
22nd Oct St. James Theatre, London
12 Palace St, London SW1E 5JA
8pm | £17.50
www.stjamestheatre.co.uk | 0844 264 2140