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Tigers in the Wisteria | Greater Manchester Fringe (GMF Digital Events)

Tigers in the Wisteria is a 30 minute digital monologue set in 1922, which focuses on Ottoline Morrell, an English aristocrat and society hostess, as she navigates a complex love story. Written and performed by Lita Doolan, this monologue incorporates the exploration of the complexities of love and desire, whilst incorporating bisexual narrative.

Before I start my review, I must state that I completely understand that the arts is fully subjective and it resonates with individuals in many different ways. Unfortunately, Tigers in the Wisteria did not resonate positively with me and I will explain why. However, I recommend that if you are an individual that is willing to step out of their 'theatre comfort zone', then you may find that Tigers in the Wisteria could be something that you would enjoy.

Tigers in the Wisteria has some bold choices, and whilst I can appreciate the writer's reasoning for these, it personally led to me disengaging from the monologue. The text seems very snappy and breaks off suddenly without much being explained which lead to me feeling quite confused. I can fully understand that the reason for this is that it is trying to convey a frantic sense of urgency - the premise of the monologue is that Ottoline is looking through letters to find one to leave as a memorial for a loved one. However, I would not have initially picked this up from watching these visuals and it's only that I did my research afterwards.

The monologue is aided by a range of different visuals. Whilst I enjoyed the ones that incorporated the 1920's feel and gave sentimental value, they were mixed in with images and videos of greenery and architecture as well as some cartoonesque visuals. In my opinion, I don't feel that they served a purpose in moving the story along as it lacked in fluidity and just felt overly chaotic.

Doolan is clearly passionate and uses her voice incredibly well to demonstrate her different emotions. There is also the use of sound effects but I felt that they acted as a distraction rather than an aid to create an atmosphere. I feel that there is a story here to be told and I understand the value and the importance of the themes it aims to explore, I just believe that it could benefit from being reworked slightly to make it a more enjoyable viewing experience.

The 30 minute monologue is part of Greater Manchester Fringe Digital Events before transferring to Melbourne Fringe later. For more tickets and information, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review


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