Antoine and the Paper Aeroplane
This article is from 2009.
Blak Wulff productions has based this mostly wordless performance around the life and work of Antoine de Saint Exupéry, famous as the father of The Little Prince, and also a keen aviator. In 1935, his plane crashed in the Sahara desert, which is where this story picks up.
A begoggled and leather-capped Antoine drops into baking heat, with only snakes and crows for company. Delirious, and probably fairly bored and scared too, he conjures up an imaginary friend, made from engine cogs. The mischievous machine-boy steals Antoine’s food, wakes him early with his dancing and leads him on cartoonish chases around the broken plane. But he also tickles him with a feather to make him laugh, and enjoys storytelling sessions under the starry sky at night.
It’s a sweet flight of fantasy, acted out by two mime artists, who double as puppeteers, dancers and human props, with percussion and music provided by Budam. His upturned acoustic guitar doubles as a drum, and using rattles, strings and finger clicking, he provides sound effects for rumbling bellies, hissing snakes and sputtering engines. Early arrival is a good idea, as back rows may miss some of the action closer to (sandy) floor level.
C Chambers Street, 0845 260 1234, until 31 Aug (not 17), 10.30am, £6.50–£8.50 (£4.50–£7.50).