Goblin Market – sisterly bond with fantasies, fears and underpinnings

Rossetti-golden head by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (date unknown). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

In our own Hudson Valley there is a very special performance at the Philipstown Depot Theatre, a darling, repurposed train station in Garrison, NY. This enchanting production of Goblin Market, a chamber musical adapted by Polly Pen and Peggy Harmon from the poem by Christina Rosetti, 1830-1894, sister of the pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rosetti, portrays the unique bond between sisters. Two stunning actresses, Maia Guest and Jenn Lee, bring this delightful piece to life, reciting and singing to music composed by Pen. In the Depot’s intimate setting, the performance is like a vintage music box come to life.

Goblin Market

Lizzie, played by Maia Guest (left), tries to tempt her more cautious sister Laura, played by Jenn Lee (right), with a forbidden fruit from the goblin market. Photograph courtesy of the Philipstown Depot Theatre.

A flashback of sorts, the young sisters share their fears and fantasies, loaded with erotic symbolism, of a traveling exotic fruit market run by menacing goblin men and life threatening, forbidden fruits. Stripped to their modest Victorian layers of chemise, bloomers, and corset, the effect is further charged.

“Golden head by golden head,/Like two pigeons in one nest/Folded in each other’s wings,/They lay down in their curtain’d bed:” (Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market,” 1862.) Photograph courtesy of the Philipstown Depot Theatre.

As one of six sisters, I was so touched by the power of sisterly devotion this production conveyed. As co-founder of the lingerie company that cherishes and promotes the sharing nature of sisterhood, I loved the reinforcement of this message.

Philipstown Depot Theatre in Garrison, NY

The Depot Theatre is housed in the former Garrison train station, which was built in 1892-1893. The original train depot was featured in the film, “Hello Dolly” with Barbra Streisand.

-Gale Epstein | Creative Director & President

About Hanky Panky

In 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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