At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Review from The Scotsman
by Julia Robertson
Friday, 17th August 2001
By taking the fairytale Beauty and the Beast and mixing it with sexually explicit fantasies, this play from Migdalia Cruz weaves a magic spell on the audience.
Situated beneath a pet shop in the California desert, an obsessive love triangle between a pet-shop owner, an animal tracker and a bearded lady explores the fine line between love and lust, and whether we can destroy the people that mean the most to us.
The pet-shop owner, Michael, has a fur fetish. He simply cannot stroke enough of it and has decided to move on to larger hairy creatures. His current fascination is for the bearded lady, whom he refers to as “Beauty” and wants to marry. His plans are complicated by the fact that she prefers the attractive female animal tracker who catches her daily supply of warm-blooded mammals. And like all good adult bedtime stories, the tracker considers “Beauty” to be a monster, all the time finding it hard to contain her feelings for Michael, who is repulsed by her lack of body hair.
As the play develops, we find it is not just “Beauty” who is kept in a cage. All the characters are trapped by their feelings of lust and anguish. This could easily descend into the realm of the deeply pretentious and silly, if it were not for the superb performances from the whole cast and the poetic prose. The pace flags slightly towards the end, but as long as you see it with an open-minded companion, you should enjoy the climax.