About Lady Fox with Nine Tails @ Assembly George Square Studios

As part of the Korean season, About Lady Fox With Nine Tails blends together two unlikely cultural mammoths: Macbeth and the Korean Kumiho

Review by Dominic Corr | 17 Aug 2018

The legend of the Kumiho, a superstitious Korean nine-tailed fox who upon devouring its last liver will become white or gold. It could transform, deceive and devour. A mythos many of us are unfamiliar with, as opposed to the second inspiration (Macbeth) as YVUA ARTS’ creates About Lady Fox With Nine Tails. Concocted together, the overlaying mysticism present in both texts can find a common ground.

In parts, however, the unique marriage of the two scripts feels disjointed – completely lost between the two. Neither telling one another’s stories well enough to fully recognisable features. Aspects of Macbeth are realised, the usurped king whose fate is delivered by beings of the dark arts. The birth of the fox, nor it’s relation to Lady Macbeth are fully realised, requiring attentiveness whilst distracted by the projected subtitles.

King Duncan’s ghost, the spectre who breaks Macbeth’s will is exquisitely handled though. Rather than the traditional, a cultural overhaul is conducted as we instead witness an exorcism of the courtroom. Here the lead Shaman and his priests writhe across the floor laughing and reciting another Shakespearean classic The Lion King. Blending the two cultures in a manner which benefits both – the production requires more of these scenes.

From its metaphorical birth, our Fox desperately seeks the final liver it needs to become human. If one can cross the language barrier to connect with their audience, something has certainly worked. A language which doesn’t require translation is movement, specifically dance. Movement sequences are focused, energetic and usually convey the narrative with ease.

As the stage is slathered in paints, the regal blues contrast the garish oranges all speaking to the success of the production. When aspects work, they are equally benefiting from the other. When they contrast, they lose the audience entirely.

About Lady Fox With Nine Tails, Assembly George Square Studios, Until Aug 27 (Not 14 or 21), 13.00pm, £13.00/£11.00

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