Page last updated at 03:45 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 04:45 UK

Lip-synching lost in translation

By Angie Brown
Edinburgh reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Bridge Markland in Faust In The Box
Bridge Markland lip-synchs in her Fringe show Faust In The Box

The actress behind a one woman show of Faust said she feared her lip-synching had been lost in translation.

Bridge Markland thinks her work would have been judged as artistic in her homeland of Germany.

But its merits have been missed at the Edinburgh Fringe due to a difference in cultural tastes.

The 48-year-old, who has performed with successful cabaret circus La Clique, has had a four star review but also received one star critiques of her Faust In The Box, at the Underbelly.

She said some critics had taken so little time to try to understand the drag show, which is performed using hundreds of different song clips, that she had even been referred to as "he", because she has a shaven head and white-painted face.

Little regard has been taken of the fact she spent a couple of years trawling through thousands of songs to pluck meaningful lyrics for her production of Goethe's adaptation of Faust, she said.

Bridge told the BBC Scotland news website: "Lip-synching is my style. I think it is special and funny that I lip-synch my own voice. I adore lip-synching, as it is a technical form of drag shows."

"It is both possible to laugh and to take my piece seriously, as there are both tragic elements and humorous parts."

With almost demonic facial twitches and contortions, she paints a Joker-like, mad and angry world, changing between the three characters of Faust, Mephistopheles and Gretchen.

Clad in black with only a white painted face, her play revolves around a large box on stage, where she performs with hand puppets.

We are pouring our hearts out for our work so to get a one star review is very hard
Bridge Markland
Faust In The Box

Bridge, she explains, is short for Bridgette and her bald head happened when she shaved off her hair 19 years ago for "personal and artistic reasons" during a "crisis" with her boyfriend.

She is an only child and is using inheritance money to fund her Fringe show.

The performer said she was upset about the star system used by critics to rate shows.

"We are pouring our hearts out for our work, so to get a one star review is very hard," she said.

"I have had my ups and downs. I have had a four star review and friends of mine tell me to keep going."

Anne-Marie Dentzer, 25, a high school teacher who studied English Literature at Glasgow University, said she went to the show because she thought Ms Markland's face looked "interesting".

She said: "I thought it was very interesting to use lyrics to link with the literature of Faust.

"It had the essence of the Faust plot but lacked some of the messages for those who know Faust."

Alica Eaton, 19, from Oxford, an Edinburgh university chemistry student, said: "My flatmates were all talking about the big production of Faust at Ingliston, in the Edinburgh International Festival, but I couldn't get a ticket so I came to Faust In The Box instead.

"I liked it. It was very different and it was a good take on it.

"I have never seen anything like it before and she had obviously done her research. I would recommend it as I thought the performer was very good."

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