The Three Deaths of Ebony Black
- Claire Sawers
- 21 August 2019
This article is from 2019
A DIY puppet comedy with a message of kindness
This is a lo-fi Tim Burton meets The Muppets-style play, featuring handmade, little old lady stick-puppets doing 'The Macarena' and 'Thriller', with an anti-capitalist message running through its comedy plot. A team of two Australian puppeteers dressed in black gets increasingly inventive with ways to bring several characters onstage all at the same time, to tell the tale of elderly Ebony Black, her death and its aftermath.
There's money left in Ebony's will, which brings out the evil side in her (already pretty nasty) twin, Ivory, as well as her money-grabbing, entrepreneurial and real estate-obsessed niece and nephew. Clementine is a nine-year-old having an existential crisis, with she and a kindly nurse called Pearl representing the more benevolent end of humanity; they're trying to find a little kindness in the world, and both dream of a slightly less ruthless society. As well as focusing on funerals and death, The Three Deaths of Ebony Black is a story that looks at what a well-lived life means to different people. An often ridiculous play that would suit children and adults, it's like a handmade miniature panto with a lot of heart, a few well-recovered mistakes, and an underwater scene.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 26 Aug, 4.30pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).