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Theater review: 'The Wild Bride'

By Joe Kempkes - Tower Staff Writer
On January 2, 2012

Berkeley Repertory Theatre's latest production "The Wild Bride" is a timeless, imaginative ride to visit the devil at the crossroads. Adapted from A Brothers Grimm tale by director Emma Rice, "Bride" employs the superlative talents of England's Kneehigh Theatre in a bluesy folktale world that soon descends into a land of disturbing nightmares. This is the Grimms tale known as "The Girl without Hands".

The Girl, wonderfully played by Audrey Brisson, is accidentally sold by her father to the devil and the story becomes darker by degrees. Stuart McLoughlin is the chilling, but engaging, devil who roosts in a tree in the forest making sinister proclamations. His folksy charm masks his black soul while he blast blues riff on a guitar and sings in a creepy falsetto voice.

After losing her hands, the girl escapes to the forest and finds a magic pear tree before marrying an eccentric prince (Stuart Goodwin). The devil still tries to court the girl and returns to the forest to find her with the Prince's child.

"The Wild Bride" gets a Berkeley update when the devil complains "This is a feminist fairy tale". And so it is...

"The Wild Bride" plays at Berkeley Repertory Theatre through January 4. For ticket information, visit

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