Transposition (3 stars)

  • 18 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

The Ishara Puppet Theatre finally arrive at the Fringe following a series of unforeseen disasters en-route that might have been lifted directly from their tale of love and destruction, Transposition. So was their hour of dance, martial arts and puppetry worth the wait? The answer is an (almost) unqualified yes.

The show is billed as a ‘multi-sensory experience’, but beyond the fabulous costumes and some psychedelic back projections, the focus is very much on the performers downstage. At times the translation of the story (by Vetalpanchacinasati and Thomas Mann) into movement seems frustatingly literal. The sequence in which a pair of lovers’ heads are detached from their bodies is communicated by unbuckling the life-sized puppets from the performers’ bodies and waving a pair of masks around in the air.

But this clunkiness is more than compensated for by two glorious central scenes; the first a moving, restrained courtship dance between the lovers; the second a genuinely terrifying sequence in which Kali, goddess of destruction (a huge billowing sheet topped by a frighteningly impassive mask) wreaks havoc surrounded by eerie projections of blinking eyes. (Allan Radcliffe)

Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 28 Aug, 7.30pm, £9 (£7).

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