Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty


The story

Sleeping Beauty is an adaptation of the fairy tale Briar Rose. We are in a kingdom devastated by unemployment and famine, where you are better off in a gang than alone and where the spindle has been replaced by the needle. The princess is born. She isn’t born in a book but in the suburbs of urban Liverpool.

She is a modern day Princess and like the one in the fairy tale, her fate is sealed by a bad spell cast on her at her birth. Life is hard for our Princess, without warning leaves the path and is trapped by the wolf! The dealer. The day before her sixteenth birthday, she pricks herself with the tip of a needle. Will this modern day Princess wake up?



Director’s Notes

I first crossed paths with the Sleeping Beauty in 2001 at the birth of my daughter. In 2003 I made the show ‘Cent Ans Dans La Forêt’ (One Hundred Years in the Forest) a puppet version of the fairy tale, for young children.

In 2003, during a ‘writing laboratory’ with Jean Louis Heckel, I explored further the themes found in this fairy tale. The ideas that emerged eventually became the new show “Sleeping Beauty”. It all began with the writing of a simple sentence, ‘Once upon a time there was my mother and my father, and they live here in this house ‘… And I wrote and wrote, putting myself at the centre of my own story. I transpose this fairy tale into our modern day era. I situate our Princess in urban Liverpool. The filmmaker Ken Loach has inspired me, I find his influence in my work.

The writing is strictly and tightly linked to the stage. In French it’s called ‘une écriture scénique’. The words are born from the research and improvisation that occurs on the stage. Hand in hand with these improvisations the writing happens at the end of these periods of work done on the stage. A series of journeys back and forth between the stage and the keyboard ensue.

I am a native English speaker. During these improvisations I performed in English, and of course something ‘else’ happens when I perform in my mother tongue. The decision was made very early during rehearsals to integrate English into the show. These are magical moments for me as an actress. This show takes me much further in my work as an actress, it takes me towards a new public, this is not a show for children, it’s a show for ‘grown ups’ as of 13 years old. All of this new ground pushes me on; it is a ‘one woman show’. The structure of the performance is like a cycle; we start at the end and then work our way back to the beginning! Once we get back to the beginning will there be a happy end?

We are in a restaurant. The table is set. The waitress welcomes and on the menu is her story.


Acting – shadow theatre – object theatre
A show suitable for 13 years and up wards

Performance length: 55 minutes

Written, directed
and performed by : Colette Garrigan
Outside eye : Pascaline Herveet and Robin Frédéric
Music : Pascaline Herveet
Arrangements : Pascaline Herveet and Sarah Auvray
Lighting : Laurent Filo and Franck Bourget
Shadow theatre : Colette Garrigan
Lighting : Olivier Bourguignon / Jérôme Houles
Sound : Antoine Quoniam / Pierre Blin
Audience capacity: 120 to 180 people
Stage space: 6m x 6m – Height 3,5m
Total blackout required.


Production : Association Cie Akselere
Coproductions : Théâtre Les Bambous, scène conventionnée de Saint-Benoît Île de la réunion et le Centre Dramatique de l’Océan Indien de Saint-Denis, Île de la réunion.

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