Skilled puppet show featuring masterful movement
This article is from 2015.
A play within a play is challenging to portray, but a puppet show within a puppet show is a taller order. Blind Summit theatre not only attempt this, they execute it brilliantly.
There's panic on stage as the show opens in Massieville. The body of a giant lays strewn about the village, the area's famous beanstalk is missing and so is a young boy, Jack. The fairytale element invites the audience to suspend disbelief and listen to the puppet, notably Daz Mayhew – the 'artistic one' – who decides to show the audience what happened by putting on a play.
So follows an hour of skilled puppetry, 'directed' by the artsy hippie one, featuring a cast made up of an elderly landlady, a world-weary local detective and an extremely chatty teenager. The vocal work of the humans behind the puppets is impeccable, and their mastery of movement faultless.
That said, the story reaches its conclusion quickly, and could afford to play more with the puppets' self awareness of their puppet state. This element goes down well with the audience, but is addressed all too infrequently. Ultimately, however, this is an intelligent piece of theatre, distinguished by skill and originality.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 17), 5pm, £10.50 (£8.50).