Rose de Reficul et Guiggles of the Dark Marchen theater stage show.
In America, a club night is deemed exciting if a band performs or someone grabs the mike and lets loose on an electroclash rant. Yawnsville, compared to the weird and wonderful sideshows staged in Japanese nightclubs. There’s Nakao of The Fashion Ramone with her anguished striptease. There’s Kengo, performing avantgarde para para in an all-white costume. And there is this romantically undead duo: Rose de Reficul et Guiggles.

Victorian Goth show performed by Rose de Reficul et Guiggles at Alamode Night in Tokyo, Japan.
I am dying to see their Dark Marchen show that is frequently staged at Alamode Night (the Gothic Lolita club favorite). Their performance can be described as: “butoh-emo (underground/melancholic/angst), hybridized with Victoriana inflections of romanticism and sentimentality, dramatically infused with post Gothic dark-psycho-pathos.” Oh, oh!

Rose de Reficul et Guiggles formed in Osaka around January 2002, growing into an elaborate production with dancers and musicians of odd instruments such as the accordion. The group is also beginning to release songs. In March 2007, Rose de Reficul et Guiggles participated in the album “Darkest Labyrinth,” which features several Japanese Goth and Visual Kei bands.

As you can see from the video, The Dark Marchen is a mélange of projected images, Victorian foppery, song and dance, noise, and over-the-top improv. The players draw you into a fin-de-siecle salon frequented by a monocled rabbit and a mute with her face wrapped in gauze. “A scream, an old show booth, an old circus and a secret club are all parts of this whole…”

Flyer for Dark Marchen theatre: elaborate Victorian costumes, song, dance, acting.
The disturbing Victoriana is much more than an act. Rose de Reficul et Guiggles extend their sensibility all the way into their bedrooms, which are strewn with porcelain dolls and crumbling antique furniture. All this is on display on their website. You can see photos from their stage show on my Flickr. If I run away, you’ll know where to find me: the Dark Marchen circus!