The Wild Bride, From U.K.'s Kneehigh Theatre, Opens at St. Ann's Warehouse Feb. 27
By Adam Hetrick
The inventive U.K. stage troupe Kneehigh Theatre returns to New York with The Wild Bride — adapted and directed by Tony and Olivier Award nominee Emma Rice — which officially opens Feb. 27 at St. Ann's Warehouse.
Kneehigh, which presented Noel Coward's Brief Encounter to acclaim at St. Ann's Warehouse in 2009 prior to a celebrated Broadway run, returns to the Brooklyn theatre company with its innovative adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "The Girl Without Hands." Kneehigh also staged "The Red Shoes" at St. Ann's in recent seasons.
The Wild Bride began previews Feb. 23 and is currently scheduled to run through March 17.
The cast features Broadway War Horse and Spring Awakening actor Andrew Durand as the Devil, with Audrey Brisson ("Hereafter," Cirque Du Soleil's Quidam) as the Girl, Patrycja Kujawska (The Red Shoes) as the Wild and Broadway Brief Encounter cast member Damon Daunno as a musician. The cast also includes Stuart Goodwin (The Lieutenant of Inismore) as the Father and the Prince, and musician Ian Ross (Brief Encounter).
Director-adapter Rice earned acclaim for her imaginative work on Kneehigh's music-filled adaptation of Brief Encounter. The British company, known for its inventive twists and creative stagings, promises a production that offers "a stunning elemental landscape of dust, clay and fire."
The Wild Bride received its American premiere at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre last year and played an encore engagement there prior to its New York debut. The New York engagement is supported by piece by piece productions, NoraLee and Jon Sedmak, and the Tony Award-winning producing team of Barry and Fran Weissler.
Here's how it is characterized: "In this adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale 'The Girl Without Hands,' narrated by Satan himself, a father accidentally sells his daughter to the Devil. When our heroine cleverly escapes, a lyrical love story laced with devilish humor unfolds. The production features a bluegrass score by longtime Kneehigh composer Stu Barker, performed by live musicians and the cast... Our heroine, over the course of her life, continually finds herself at a crossroads. Betrayed by her father, she chooses to walk into the wilderness, rejecting not only the Devil, but her home as well. In the wild she meets a prince and becomes pregnant, but when he is called to war, her heart breaks. She brings up her child in the cool green of the forest and, miraculously, her broken heart grows back. It's a tale of love, loss, betrayal, desire, obsession, sin and redemption."
The Wild Bride has music by Barker and lyrics by Carl Grose. The creative team also includes Etta Murfitt (movement), Bill Mitchell (sets), Myriddin Wannell (costumes), Malcolm Rippeth (lighting) and Simon Baker (sound).
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