Douglas Gordon and Charlotte Rampling Collaborate on Hair-Raising Restaging of Little Red Riding Hood

Neck of the Woods Photo: Douglas Gordon
Neck of the Woods Photo: Douglas Gordon

Douglas Gordon, Hélène Grimaud, Charlotte Rampling, and Veronica Gonzalez Peña will collaborate on the performance Neck of the Woods for the Manchester International Festival.

The project, which marries music, theater, performance, and art, re-tells the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood, designed to be as frightening to adults as the original story is for children.

“For me, the most important thing is to be as close to the dark as possible, and then, when the lights come up, it should be the same as when you’re a child, when you have a nightmare and then you wake up and you feel safe and then you’re frightened to go back to sleep,” Douglas Gordon told the Guardian.

Hélène Grimaud with Nanuk at Wildpark Lüneburger Heide, Germany (2012)<br> Photo: Fishing4 /Thorge Huter

Hélène Grimaud with Nanuk at Wildpark Lüneburger Heide, Germany (2012)
Photo: Fishing4 /Thorge Huter

Turner Prize winning artist Grimaud runs a wolf conservation center in upstate New York, which Alex Poots, creative director of the MIF knew of. He introduced her to Gordon who is also a great wolf lover, and the project began to take shape.

“He said: ‘Hélène Grimaud, you have to meet her,’” Gordon told the Guardian. “So he got to Hélène and that’s how we met. You know, our kind of shared fascination with the wolf and the piano. Not a bad start.”

Writer Veronica Gonzalez Peña, whose pamphlet So Far From God, a study of the Mexican drug war, was written for the semiotext(e) exhibition in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, has created a script but the whole project will remain fluid until it reaches the stage.

“It’s going to be a complete surprise,” said film legend Rampling, who is narrating in the play, to the Guardian. “It’s going to surprise us too, once we’re on stage. We’re lucky enough to have the stage in Manchester for a week before we start our performances—we’ll actually be creating it then.”

Grimaud and Gordon have collaborated in the past at the Park Avenue Armory to critical acclaim.

 Neck of the Woods runs at HOME as part of the Manchester international festival, from July 10-18.


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