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Archive for the month “August, 2013”

These Bloody Chambers…a review of Angela Carter’s macabre magnificent work



Let’s go to the theatre Annie! Let’s go! Well I was singing this with Mr T as we headed off to the Malthouse theatre to see the last night of ‘The Bloody Chamber’ by the unconquerable Angela Carter- the English Gothic writer, the English realism writer, as she might have suggested. I kept accidentally saying I’m going to see ‘My bloody Chamber’ and this was because I was menstruating at the time, and what more perfect an opportunity to witness the depths of masculine brutality and feminine uprising. The redemptive powers of the maternal force unleashed and not holding back their strength against that nasty Blue-beard. An all-female cast, the main protagonist Alison Whyte also presented herself as Blue-beard via the brilliant application of voice effects. It was almost like the Benne gesserit witches from Dune, modulating their voices. Do you know what I’m referring to. Anyway I was anxious, anxious that my beloved memory of the story might be adapted with panache and accuracy to some degree but also hoping and daring the play to be violent, uncomfortably unsettling the audience. It was. However Miss Bumble, who was the woman sitting behind me ( I have named her this) fell asleep apparently during the show, since she was apologising to her entourage. Miss Bumble also said something before the play started that had me in stitches, the kind that are capable of setting in like a rumbling storm. Here is the gist of the dialogue as I recorded it. Miss Bumble sitting in the seat behind me, had short hair and wore a rather large pearl necklace. Upon seeing a young boy she knew who was about to take his seat next to her, she declared. “OH MY! what are the odds? How wonderful to see you!’ The young boy and his mother also expressed their delight, though maybe not as flamboyantly. ‘What are you doing here?’ she says. The boy begins his puzzlement. ‘haha haha of course’ says Miss Bumble, ah I mean ‘how long are you here for?’ The boy responds to this with a deadpan accuracy, ‘As long as the show’.  Hahahah ahahahha
I could not stop laughing and neither could Mr T.  Thankfully the blood and dripping ceilings and the intense performance of Alison set my giggle fits into rigid anticipation. Despite the character in the book being a young virgin, and Alison Whyte not being a 17 year old, I think she was a perfect choice. In a way I felt ( how very un-post-modern of me) that Angela was working through the actress and seeing her words come alive in the slim vulnerable strong bones and flesh of this actress made me feel the power of this maternal manifesto. The heroine is the mother, who rescues her daughter! Yeah! No more fairytale mothers, or step-mothers who are neglectful or dead ( and so both )  or mothers that are naive or weak! Yeah to the Carter’s envisioning of this mother who is strong and fierce and not to be messed with. I began to cry at the end and thankfully only heard as the lights were raised that Miss Bumble was snoring. Poor Miss Bumble..if only she had not been so tired, if only she had been awake to see and hear such a fantastic tale of maternal love, monsters that can be conquered, young women who become brave like their mothers.


by Angela Carter

Directed by Matthew Lutton
Music by David Chisholm
Performance Text by Van Badham
Set & Costume Design Anna Cordingley
Lighting Design Paul Jackson
Sound Design Jethro Woodward

Cast Shelly LaumanAlison Whyte
Musicians Jacinta Dennett, Jess Fotinos, Yinuo Mu




Publications and Awards

Peril Magazine 2013

Imran, Irfan, and the Electric Lights’


Contemporary Asian Australian Poets 2013

Published by Puncher and Wattman.

Possessed, Ruins, The Onyx Ring, The Plastic Comb Vendor, Veils as Flags, The Land of Smoke.

Highly Commended 2010, 2011, 2012.

Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize,

Queensland Poetry Festival

Cordite Poetry Review: 36 Electronica Dec 2011

The Freedom Fighter


Mascara Literary ReviewIssue 10 Oct 2011

Rooftops in Karachi


Australian Poetry Journal: beginnings Vol 1, No 1. 2011

Metaphysics, Soldiers near the Khyber Pass

Foam:e, an on-line poetry Journal Issue 4 2008



Australian Women’s Book Review Issue 142 2008

Writer and Reviewer


Australian Women’s Book Review: Issue 143 2008

Writer and Reviewer


Brisbane City Council’s, One Brisbane many stories 2008, May

Short-listed for The Storm-witch who loved the son of King Minos

Hecate 2008

Scholarly & interdisciplinary journal:Vol.34 no.2


Contributing Writer


Poetry Festival, Austin Texas 2008

Writer, performer of poetry film shown, Daughter of the Catastrophe.

I wasn’t there but good friend and fellow rebel of word and image Reverse Butcher

performed her work and showed our collaboration.


Hecate: Scholarly and interdisciplinary journal: Vol 18.1. 2006

Editorial and Production Assistant

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