THE folkloric myth of Bluebeard – the wealthy man with the azure facial hair and a dark, brutal secret – has been embedded in European culture by the French fairytale writer Charles Perrault and Bluebeard’s Castle, the opera by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.

We can now add to that cultural ­history Emma Rice’s Blue Beard, a new, highly ­distinctive stage adaptation of the story that is ­simultaneously timeless, powerfully modern and magnificently theatrical.

It is, perhaps, a sign of the pecuniary ­difficulties that theatre currently finds itself in throughout the UK that this show is ­co-produced by no fewer than five companies (namely the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh; ­Birmingham Rep; Home Manchester; York Theatre Royal, and Rice’s own, Bristol-based company Wise ­Children).

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Whatever the reason for the proliferation of producers, there is, pleased to report, no ­question of too many metaphorical cooks ­spoiling the artistic broth.

The National: Blue Beard_ Credit Steve Tanner(6).

Written and directed by the acclaimed Rice, this piece – which combines dramatic ­storytelling with live music and song, stage ­illusions, and vaudevillian performance – is an unforgettably brilliant work of total ­theatre. Here, Blue Beard (Tristan Sturrock on ­impressively smooth, charismatic and sinister form) is a famous stage magician.

His repertoire of spectacular tricks ­combines with a line in hedonistic hospitality to give him a certain attraction. This is especially true of Lucky (Robyn Sinclair), who attended a Blue Beard magic show along with her ­mother (named Treasure, and played by Patrycja ­Kujawska) and her sister (Trouble, played by Stephanie Hockley).

The National: Blue Beard_ Credit Steve Tanner(6).

This fabulously staged tale of showmanship and Bacchanalian excess is a story told to a young man, the Lost Brother (Adam Mirsky), by the blue-bearded Mother Superior (Katy Owen) of the very 21st-century Convent of the Three F’s (“Fearful, Fast and Furious”).

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The narrative disclosed by this ­unconventional cleric moves forward in tandem with the Lost Brother’s story of his Lost Sister (Mirabelle Gremaud), a not unusually troubled young woman who found solace in her nascent career as a rock musician.

The two tales – one rooted strongly in ­folklore, the other a contemporary story that is ­increasingly, and horrifyingly, ­recognisable – unfold with a colourful, hilarious, violent ­dynamism that is utterly compelling. Composer Stu Barker’s music draws widely on Slavonic folk music, jazz and rock music (among others).

The National: Blue Beard_ Credit Steve Tanner(6).

The technical work – whether ­representing stage tricks or summoning up illusions in ­ever-whirling pieces of furniture or ­kitchen ­appliances – is as breathtaking as Vicki ­Mortimer’s dazzling set and costume designs.

Indeed, Rice and her team ensure that ­every element of the piece – from the universally ­superb acting, musicianship and singing, to the atmospheric lighting and sound – is at the ­service of an overarching aesthetic vision.

This flawlessly absorbing production ­entertains and amuses, even as it travels further into the dark heart of the famous folk tale. It does so all the better to serve us with a ­genuinely powerful coup de théâtre that honours the many women – from Sarah Everard and Zara Aleena in England, to Jîna Emînî in Iran – who have died at the hands of violent men.

At the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh until March 30: