The Last Miner uses puppetry to profound effect (4 stars)

This article is from 2010

The Last Miner uses puppetry to profound effect

Moving, melancholic puppet show

This inventive show, developed by Tortoise in a Nutshell in association with Catherine Wheels, is short on action, features little dialogue and takes place on the tiny stage of the Hill Street studio theatre.

But the tale of an elderly miner, living out his days underground in his former place of work and struggling (literally) to keep the roof over his head, transports its audience in a more profound way than many more hi-tech, all-singing, all-dancing shows.

The dilemma of the papier maché protagonist, who finds episodes from his past returning to haunt him as his roof collapses, is conveyed subtly but with great precision by a pair of puppeteers, whose blackened faces and head torches add to the show’s strong atmosphere. While the tone is perhaps a little melancholic for little ones, and the theme of loss that runs throughout will lead to some searching questions, the series of moving set pieces is carefully, thoughtfully pitched for a young audience.

Hill Street Theatre, 226 6522, until 30 Aug (not 17, 24), 3pm, £7 (£5).

The Last Miner

  • 4 stars

Young Edinburgh-based children's theatre company Tortoise in a Nutshell present their Fringe-acclaimed tale of a forgotten underground soul, the last miner. Part of Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival.