Puppet show silliness backed up by serious skill
This article is from 2011.
Blind Summit are a company of puppetry geeks, with the triptych of pieces that make up The Table, they’ve made a show that lovingly reflects that. They’re also a company with a great sense of fun, and happily this hour-and-a-bit more than embodies that too, with fits of the giggles coursing through the audience (and from time to time the performers) more or less constantly.
Perhaps causing the evening to peak too early, the first and longest piece is an extended monologue from a cantankerous old puppet (three-man-operated Japanese bunraku, as he helpfully informs us) who lives on the titular table. It takes a confident puppeteer to draw attention to the techniques of their trade, but that’s exactly what Blind Summit do with this knowingly self-reflexive show – and they’re good enough to get away with it. Even an unplanned mishap provides space for some hilarious improvisation that, while shambolic on the surface, only serves to show how intuitively the three puppeteers manipulate their creation.
Different forms of puppetry are showcased in the remaining two parts, but common to all three are silliness and showing off in equal measure – more than matched by impressive skill and an originality that never ceases to surprise.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 28 Aug (not 15), 10pm, £12–£14 (£11–£13).