UPDATED 11 July 2016
Here is a rather rough translation of a rather nice (5 stars) review from Paris:
REVIEW: TOUTE LA CULTURE
Over the past few days, the second Pyka Festival Puppet, took place at the Theatre de l'Atalante. We could see the very beautiful and sensitive Outpost by the Franco-English Green Ginger - an intelligent show on borders - as much about those between countries as it was about those that divide the hearts of men ... and other creatures!
What lingers longest after leaving a performance of Outpost is undoubtedly the show's imagery, as both the 1/2 scale puppets and sets are incredibly well animated and ingenious. The three English manipulators are also beautifully dressed, but they fade very effectively behind the puppets. The ingenuity of the stage design should be particularly noted, the set undergoing surprising transformations to capture the subterranean moods extraordinarily successfully. The lip-synching is very fluid, as are some well-considered and funny perspective effects.
Based on a soundly agreed premise and strong caricatures we find ourselves transported, by some delightfully absurd and perfectly performed pirouettes, to incredible and fantastic situations that succeed in being highly readable while remaining perfectly outlandish. In distancing us from what is familiar, the strangest of adventures echoes the painful reality, while the strangeness touches the poetic! To summarise; this is Jules Verne crossed with contemporary geopolitics. Obviously this is a show that doesn't fall innocently in its time; it's clear that the subject cannot fail to resonate with current affairs, particularly as it unfolds at the borders of the European Union. The subject is never treated directly, but this show, beyond its agreeable happy ending, is an ode to brotherhood, to intelligence, to the care of others. It is a morality tale, a pretty interwoven story of jokes, winks, absurd adventures and deeper reflections scattered throughout the narrative.
A lovely sight to watch; very original, pretty dark, very accomplished scenography and corrosive black humour. Very well written - apparently the only drawback being that one must be fluent in English to enjoy fully: the performance we saw was not surtitled! I would recommend to all ages: adults will largely get their money's worth (it is unlikely that the young will notice how much the story's evil baddie looks like Margaret Thatcher), young adults will be delighted by the story and visuals, although some strong content might discourage those below 8 years.
TOUTE LA CULTURE
CINDERELLA, A Fairy Tale
It runs from Dec 2 to Jan 15.
OF PUPPETRY 2017