A young woman is entrusted by her dying mother with a wooden box containing all the stories and words she knows. But not prepared to listen to them again, the bereaved daughter hides the box under her bed, wanting to forget about it.
As the years go past, she grows lonely and misunderstood, gradually giving in to the Shadow Man – a sly creature who lingers around her and whispers demeaning messages into her ear. An impending sense of unworthiness starts to threaten her own existence, until one day she engages in a physical struggle with the monster and accidentally kicks open the precious wooden box. All of a sudden, thousands of stories are at last set free, scattering across the world, becoming myths and tales that are passed on from generation to generation.
Some of these tales are brought to life at the Fringe Festival by Scottish Kenyan Mara Menzies with her performance of Blood and Gold. It’s a show that aims to highlight the legacy of colonialism and slavery through the connection between ancient mythology and modern storytelling.
Brutal captivity and evil creatures from a dark world are defeated by astonishing children, blessed with the precious skill to weave words into gifts of hope and joy. The power of these stories can break shackles, build passages and bestow superhuman force to those who listen to them. More importantly, they remind us to believe in our own strength and use it to fight against the chains and limitations imposed by society through prejudice and deprecation.
Mara Menzies’s vivid narrative blends with the colourful cloth backdrop, on which tribal motives and more familiar shapes mingle to form small human figurines, heartbeat waves and other recognisable patterns. Her mesmerising voice and recurrent interactions with the audience have them hanging on her every word, whilst she takes her listeners on a fascinating journey across distant and mysterious lands, before returning, full circle, to where it all began.
Writer and Performer: Mara Menzies
Director: Isla Menzies
Dramaturg: Francisca da Silveiras
Producer: Mhari Robinson, Independent Arts Projects
Box Office: +44 (0)131 226 0000
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/blood-and-gold
Booking Until: 26 August 2019