One Eye Gone

  • The List
  • 13 August 2009

This article is from 2009

One Eye Gone

Godzilla puppet adaptation loses something in translation

Unless you’re already familiar with Godzilla and the daikaiju genre, it might be hard to follow this re-imagining of the 1954 film – though its strength is in Katie Shook’s puppetry, not Erik Ehn’s storytelling. There’s imaginative use of concealed lights to create cityscapes, bioluminescent jellyfish and the devastating Oxygen Destroyer device; and Sam Breen’s Godzilla costume has a homemade look that may have resulted from budgetary constraints, but nevertheless recalls the original’s low-tech aesthetic.

The narrative style is abstract, with downstage narrators providing dialogue, projected stills from the film representing characters and four puppeteers, plus Breen, recreating the large-scale city-stomping action. The play lasts only half its advertised length, which probably explains (though doesn’t excuse) the dearth of exposition in Ehn’s script; and his repetition of the Engrish-sounding phrase “You are one eye gone” is baffling rather than evocative.

Only the skeleton of a plot (monster terrorises city, is obliterated with WMD) is discernible; and some brutish part of me, not satisfied with mere artistic representations of demolition, was disappointed Breen didn’t get to actually stomp any tiny buildings.

Venue 13, Lochend Close, 0707 420 1313, until 22 Aug, times vary, £8 (£5).

One Eye Gone

The Godzilla story re-imagined by playwright Erik Ehn and experimental puppeteer Katie Shook. A delicate and frightful beautiful allegory of love, fear, and loneliness exploring society's impact on the environment and relationship to its monsters.