“We must not look at goblin men / We must not buy their fruits: / Who knows upon what soil they fed / Their hungry thirsty roots?”
The New Zealand circus troupe A Dust Palace brought their stunning cirque-theatre production to The Cultch after a long development period.
Inspired by Christina Rossetti’s iconic Victorian poem of the same name, this performance captured elements of both the fairytale world and sensuous, untamed subject matter that made it so influential.
Our heroines are tempted by the fruit of goblin men. As Laura succumbs and loses herself, deteriorating into a shell of what she once was, Lizzie tries to save her by paying off the goblin men for their fruits – resisting it for herself.
This performance was experimental and unique like the original poem, and unlike anything I had seen before. Unfortunately, this production refrained from delving too deep into the text but what they did pull from the poem made a big impact.
With very few words, they captured some of the key themes of temptation, seduction, and redemption in beautiful, physically demanding circus performances. The moving balance beam, ropes, aerial hoop, and a stack of chairs all showcased the incredibly artistry of the three performers (Rochelle Mangan, Eve Gordon, and Edward Clendon) as they created moving, intense characters.