Weird and wonderful - but what's it all about?
This article is from 2008.
No strings attached (well, not many) in this experimental piece of puppet theatre from avant-garde Polish company K3. Three puppeteers, dressed from neck to ankle in black, animate a series of string-free two-foot tall magnolia-coloured cloth mannequins (and a single stringed one) in seven consecutive scenarios that play out in similar ways. The female puppeteers, who might represent the Fates, give life to the figures, which resemble human men made from clay, and put the little homunculi through their paces - running, jumping, cycling - before finding their creations unfit for their tasks, at which point the disappointed black-clad deities cast the twisted and torn things aside and move on to their next creation/victim.
It's a macabre, disturbing and technically well-executed performance. But what on earth does it all mean? Does it represent the fragility of the human race? Or is it a critique of failed late-20th century capitalism?! Perhaps it's a commentary on the inherent limitations of men? Ultimately, it doesn't really matter. One of the strengths of this wordless virtuoso display of puppetry is the way in which it portends a great deal without telling the audience exactly what conclusion to come to. Weird stuff. But kind of wonderful.
Hill Street Theatre, 226 6522, until 25 Aug, 1.10pm, £10-£12 (£8-£10).