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Scene changes are, among other things, an opportunity for the Underworld to assert its presence in the person of the Anubis figure. In the first scene he claims the Bride for the Underworld, and by the third act he is waiting patiently for the chance to claim the Creature/Claire. It should be noted that the Bride is a ghostly evocation of Régine who has been searching the Underworld for her lost child, while hoping not to find her there.

Puppy, in the original production, was “played” by a puppet, specially constructed from a taxidermy mould, painted, and finished with fur. The head and tail detached, and he was operated by the actor playing The Bride/Creature/Claire, in a puppetry style reminiscent of that used in Japanese theatre.

By the end of the play, the world has changed. Gothic shadows have given way to the light of day, corsets disappear, and conformity is knocked aside by a deadly serious playfulness. For a moment, the horizon is unclouded. It is only a matter of time, however, before Dr Reid, and his quest for Utopia, will give rise to the cataclysms of the twentieth century. But for one brief, shining, “belle époque” moment, there is peace, and space for the imagination to run free. —A.M.