Our reviewer Addya Panayiotou went to see Great Grimm Tales by Box Tale Soup during manipulate visual theatre festival at Norwich.
Our reviewer Addya Panayiotou went to see 'Wunderkammer' by Figurentheatre Tuebingen during the Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival at Norwich Puppet Theatre.
Our reviewer Addya Panayiotou went to see The Water Babies by String Theatre, a marionette production inspired by Charles Kingsley's novel, at Norwich Puppet Theatre.
Penny Francis went to review "The Wider Earth" at the Natural History Museum, running until 30t December 2018.
Penny Francis goes to see The Four Seasons, A Re-imagining at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre, London with puppetry by Gyre & Gimble.
A Heart at Sea charts the story of a young boy who throws his heart out to sea following the death of his sister, and his subsequent quest to retrieve it. The show is an original offering from designer and puppeteer Peter Morton, & musician and writer Avi Simmons, who make up the company Half a String.
One of the highlights of the first ever Nottingham Puppet Festival, which took place in March this year, was Cie Akselere's ingenious retelling of 'Sleeping Beauty'.
Our reviewer Addya went to see The Boy who Climbed into the Moon at Norwich Playhouse
Penny Francis headed to the National Theatre to see this latest version of the boy with no strings.
As The Little Match Girl journied to Bristol Old Vic this winter one of our Animations reviews, Catherine Alexander headed to go and see it too.
Ahead of Christmas Bob Frith takes his family to go and see some festive family friendly shows in London.
Catherine Alexander goes to Shoreditch Town Hall to see Kneehigh's The Tin Drum for Animations Online.
Our Animations Online reviewer Bob Frith heads to The Boo ahead of Christmas for a show with his family.
Our current PCT resident Alicia Britt went to see Punched Puppet Cabaret in Brighton.
Penny Francis goes to see the latest Les Enfants Terribles show at Wilton’s Music Hall.
Whilst at Skipton Puppetry Festival, our reviewer Addya also goes to see La dernière danse de Brigitte (by Zero en Conducta, Spain).
Addya Panayiotou headed to Skipton Puppetry Festival 2017 and amist a feast of puppetry went to see There and Back Again - an Odyssey by Lyngo Theatre.
Tobi Poster reviewed some shows for Animations Online as part of the Bristol Puppetry Festival.
Tobi Poster sees La Causeuse by EQUIVOC at Bristol Puppetry Festival.
Tobi Poster reviews for Animations Online from Bristol Festival of Puppetry.
Tobi Poster reviews Parachute by Stephen Mottram at The Bristol Festival of Puppetry 2017.
Sinking Ship are a Brooklyn-based theatre company who have turned a story by Franz Kafka into a solo show with their impressive performer Jonathan Levin. It was reviewed by Aya Nakamura at Zoo, Edinburgh Fringe.
Aya reviews The Prophetic Visions of Bethany Lewis presented by Laura Elmes Productions at The Edinburgh Fringe
Aya Nakamura goes to another Puppetry show at the Edinburgh Fringe - this time, Bruce by The Great Hunt.
Reviewed by Aya Nakamura, on 3 August at Underbelly, Cowbarn (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)
Troll by Icelandic company Handbendi Brúðuleikhús was performed at The Little Angel Theatre on 31st July 2017.
Galway International Art Festival in July 2017. This piece is adapted from the book by Oliver Jeffers.
Penny Francis goes to visit The Little Angel Theatre's Little Red Riding Hood.
Bob Frith reviews The Welcoming Party by Theatre-Rites as part of the Manchester International Festival.
Addya Panayiotou visits the Norwich Puppet Theatre for Manipulate Festival for Clementine’s Fabulous Roadshow.
Our Edinburgh Fringe reviewer Kerrin Tatman went to see In Our Hands by Smoking Apples.
Underbelly - Cowgate (Belly Button), Venue 61
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Sunday 7th August 2016, 4pm
Our Edinburgh reviewer Kerrin Tatman went to see The Marked by Theatre Témoin
Pleasance Dome, Venue 23
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Sunday 7th August 2016, 1.30pm
Luckily for us, Norwich Puppet Theatre released some last minute tickets for Julian Crouch's Birdheart on 10th February and first in line was one of our reviewers Addya Panayiotou.
A review of The Ugly Duckling by Thingumajig Theatre at The Little Angel Theatre.
Our review of Figurentheater-Tuebingen's Wunderkammer as part of The London International Mime Festival.
A mechoncholic tale of fishing and family estrangment with a beautiful constructed aesthetic.
A beautiully told original fairytale told with visually striking shadow puppets.
A chilling tale set in 1970s Japan making clever use of puppetry, video and illusion.
A sweet, absurd show featuring paper cutouts and masterful storytelling.
Wierd and macarbre showcase of puppetry magic.
A comically disturbing tale of imprisoned clowns and their puppet overlords.
A visually impressive and expertly performed puppet show looking at the oddities of border posts.
An enthralling, dark and sensory meditation on mortaltiy.
A dark and brooding puppet show that brings an ancient folk tale to brilliant life.
An ambitious puppet production that tells the astounding tale of a captured merman.
A beguiling immersive performance with puppets that formed the focal point of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival this year.
Ballet, circus and object theatre combine in this witty and often mesmerising production.
Featuring simple and imaginative storytelling, this engaging puppet play brings Julia Donaldson's book to life.
This immersive, promenade performance is an ambitious invitation to dive right into Lewis Carroll's disorientating world.
Rod puppetry, mask and dreaded trouser tents all feature in this tireless version of Aristophanes' play.
A dreamy opera for young people, featuring arresting puppetry and magical lighting.
A riotous and remarkable celebration of colour and wonder inspired by the work of Miró.
Engaging documentary blends live action and stop motion to tell the true tale of Palestine's most wanted.
A marionette performance for kids featuring the long-eared trickster.
Four brand new puppet shows for adults were premiered at this year's FIRSTS festival.
An exploration of what it means to be diagnosed with motor neurone disease using puppetry and shadows.
Klezmer gig meets puppet show in this joyful and stylish short festival performance.
An award winning filmmaker presents an evening of animation designed to make you shiver.
A new version of the classic tale, this marionette production has atmosphere and depth.
Comic yet haunting, this solo performance blends physical and object theatre to great effect.
A New York-based puppeteer recreates and reimagines a now nearly extinct Japanese theatrical form.
A fast paced and feel good performance where strings of pasta take centre stage.
A muscular portrait of an artist, featuring stunning set, light and sound design.
Incredible lighting and sound design combine with brilliant mime in this dystopian cautionary tale.
A classic tale is given a new lease of life in this magical puppet production.
An exisquite dance piece with dynamic puppetry that explores the doctor/patient divide.
A one man, wordless comedy sketch show from the makers of Boris & Sergey.
A gloriously chaotic production inspired by the fairground theatres that wandered Europe a hundred years ago.
A charming and inventive production that treats its young audience with respect.
A strange and daring show for children, bravely and brilliantly tackling Lewis Carroll's odd poem.
Sheets of cardboard, simple projections and homemade sound effects combine in this show for kids.
What the geniuses behind the ‘The Animals and Children Took to the Streets’ did next.
A fresh, funny and inventive piece of visual-physical-puppet theatre for kids.
A double-bill of short plays, packed with laughs, talent and ideas.
A dark comic riff on the Pinocchio story with some surprisingly poignant parts.
Circus, dance, animation and object theatre combine in this family show.
A bonkers but brilliant feature length stop motion animation from Estonia, tackling the plight of refugees.
An anthology of animated shorts that delve into the darker dimensions of human existence.
Premiering at LIAF 2014, this animated feature length film explores the depths of depression.
More performance art than a play, this movement piece features some beautiful puppetry and expressive lighting.
A family show bringing a much loved story to life with an inventive set and attractive rod puppets.
Scenes of subtle beauty and fabulous strangeness combine in a fine marionette production for adults.
An imaginative and charming puppet show for curious kids that's packed with surprises and transformations.
A fabulously macabre show based on the 'Beggar's Opera', featuring puppetry and acrobatics.
A poignant and dignified revival of a 1997 play with puppets that explores political transition in post-apartheid South Africa.
Equal parts cinema, puppet theatre and gig, this innovative show from scratch DJ Kid Koala is based on his graphic novel of the same name.
A riotous comedy show featuring astronaut bears and some well thought out shadow work.
Puppets, animation and a rock 'n' roll soundscape combine in this innovative adaptation of Milton's epic poem.
A touching and visually imaginative performance, featuring shadow work, rod puppetry and object theatre.
A camp, ridiculous romp through a zoo-full of fictional creatures and their peculiar keepers.
Dance and cartoons combine in a piece that blends live choreography with shadow and projection imagery.
Family friendly dance show inspired by the surreal paintings of Magritte, featuring joyful object and shadow work.
A cheerful, energetic and surreal puppet adaptation of Tove Jansson's fifth Moomin book.
Physical theatre inspired by Melville’s 'Moby Dick' featuring puppetry, circus, live music and spoken word.
Pickled Image's signature style puppets deliver a family friendly, homely sort of a show.
A charming take on the classic tale with supreme puppetry and a simple suitcase set.
The ventriloquist, of 'Britain's Got Talent Fame', pays homage to Cowell and co with his new show.
A touching ballet of hands that uses miniature animation, live film and projection.
Point-of-view video feeds and puppets navigate intricate sets in this imaginative and moving depiction of the Western Front.
Innovative and intricate shadow work bring a much loved children's tale to life.
An intelligent and colourful performance set during Hong Kong’s subjugation by Japan and featuring an adorable, ill-fated goose.
Densely packed with potent symbols, this atmospheric two part work is a meditation on twentieth century Russia.
An ambitious, if rather raw, piece of theatre for kids presented at this year's Brighton Fringe.
An opera aimed squarely at children, this entrancing show features a show stealing puppet star and a finely realised set.
A visually accomplished piece of children's theatre that uses puppetry to bring some rather attractive discarded objects to life.
Engaging and educational family theatre that uses a variety of puppetry techniques to celebrate Shakespeare.
Ingenuity and wit shine through in this accomplished puppet show for young audiences.
As romantic as it is traditional, this delightful marionette production has a gentle, bittersweet charm.
A bicycle powered production for over eights featuring small scale puppets and live animation.
30 years after its first broadcast, the celebrated and controversial satirical puppet show makes a welcome, temporary return with an exhibition at London's Cartoon Museum.
This March, the Little Angel Theatre's FIRSTS festival premiered a selection of new works from young, emerging puppetry companies.
Energetic and energising, this memorable puppetry piece is suffused with gypsy music and folk romance.
A double bass doubles up as a puppet theatre of sorts, in this slightly strange and imaginative performance for younger audiences.
High production values, storytelling, singing and some puppet-playing combine in this hyperactive adaptation of an award winning children's book.
A series of skits created from the flimsiest of materials, this short puppet play lacks a strict narrative but delivers lots of laughs.
A beautiful dance piece that evolves into something more obscure, this mime fest show features a show-stealing bunraku puppet.
Raw dance, vivid shadow-play and a flamenco dress with a mind of its own combine in this intimate portrait of an artist.
Offering us the life story of one of puppetry's greats, this biography explores the inner workings and outer achievements of a man with a huge heart and an enduring legacy.
Dance, object play and music combine in a spiritually enticing but ideologically troubling performance.
A moving piece of full mask theatre, exploring the impact of dementia on grandmother and grandson.
A visually inventive show, exploring the nature of memory and relationships through unusual dance, mask and puppetry.
Experiments with wind and plastic delight and disturb in this Mime Festival show.
This unusual exhibition of artwork and films explores religious fundamentalism, and features hundreds of intricate marionettes.
A colourful piece of family theatre that unfolds like an animated storybook and stars the huge ghost of an elephant.
A festive adventure story, featuring inventive shifts in scale and a lively original score.
An entrancing opera about Gandhi's early years, featuring huge puppets made from humble materials.
A grown-up panto boasting aerial effects, fantasy puppets and memorable songs.
Shadow puppetry is used to riff off contemporary concerns like climate change, economics and, of course, immigration.
Multi sensory and masterfully designed, this is an original and captivating show executed with wit and style.
A bold and brave production using a life size horse puppet, this show provides intelligent comment on the euthanasia debate.
Great puppet theatre meets great physical theatre, and existentialism, in this solo piece featuring large foam puppets.
Long string marionettes are used to tell Howard Barker's story of a wretched philosopher who conjures up all his nightmares in one day.
An exploration of one woman’s domestic life and her quest to find milk for a cup of tea, this residency piece features an ethereal rod puppet and an ever-changing kitchen monster.
A fast-paced comedy showcase with a vaudevillian aesthetic, our Balkan bunraku hosts succeed in making pain and death funny.
Anthony Minghella's celebrated production returns, offering a truly pleasurable aesthetic experience.
Three short operas showcase just how versatile and inventive puppet opera can be.
With the cast re-imagined as a flock of birds, this production creates a magical, otherworldly and threatening atmosphere that captures the essence of Shakespeare’s tragedy.
From sublime street theatre to invite-only premieres, the Festival Mondial des Theatres de Marionnettes de Charleville-Mezieres offers audiences an overwhelming amount of puppetry over nine days.
A musical interpretation of Coleridge's epic poem, the highlight of this show is the Python-esque animated set, which features puppetry, mask and circus.
Glamourous stripteases, macabre stunts and magic all make for a late night puppet cabaret with a smouldering atmosphere.
Fine art, fame and talk show absurdity combine beautifully in a unique homage to two great, dead artists.
Using a modest mix of live action, glove and tabletop puppetry, two master storytellers transport us to the dusty, windswept home of a shepherd with a tree planting habit.
Technically sophisticated, this show uses live paper animation to lay the creative process bare.
Using a mix of puppetry and live action, this show turns 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' into a potent satire about child labour and consumerism.
Clowning, physical theatre and delightful hand puppetry combine to tell the story of the minor characters from Hitchcock's 'The Birds'.
This performance uses object theatre to deliver a visually creative interpretation of an award winning children's book about depression
Masterful, simple shadow puppetry abounds in a show that sparkles somewhere between storytelling, theatre and stand-up.
Live action, projection and skilled puppetry deliver a sophisticated and emotionally rich exploration of human experience.
A stunning full body puppet is the highlight of this promising but flawed delve into Slavic myth and horror.
A tabletop performance conjured from found objects, this playful version of an epic classic is full of surprises.
Elemental animation at its most simple and powerful, this short performance breathes life and poetry into the humble plastic bag.
A comic opera with bite, based on a short story by Dostoyevksy and featuring an impressive rod puppet star.
Marionettes and household objects combine to tell a troubling story set on a remote Scottish island.
An affecting performance blending puppetry and contemporary dance, 'Headcase' tackles mental health issues with honesty and humour.
An immersive piece of theatre for kids, this production uses puppets and objects to tackle financial and environmental issues.
An epic tale told with ambition and enthusiasm, this adaption of a cult anime film features huge wild beasts brought to life with energetic puppetry.
Amusing automatons made of rusting junk and found objects see tortured Christian saints re-imagined and made interactive.
An untamed musical featuring an array of cheeky muppet-style hand puppets - the West End hit goes on tour.
Inventive shifts in scale and a menagerie of colourful characters combine in this endearing production.
A ventriloquist's workshop strewn with puppet parts provides the macabre setting for this dark comic horror.
A claustrophobic depiction of life in the trenches, where large rod puppets and shadow animation help to create an unearthly atmosphere.
If talking to yourself is the first sign of madness, then Nina Conti provides a first class ticket to her own personal bedlam with her new show, where she brings more madcap characters to the stage than ever before.
Wooden rod puppets bring Michael Rosen's well loved book to life, with catchy songs provided by Barb Jungr.
Simple shadow puppetry and ingenious masks combine beautifully in this enchanting opera adapted from the novels of Philip Pullman.
There is a lot to like in this raucous one woman show that tears through three myths from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’ at break-neck speed using grotesque Gerald Scarfe style hand and body puppets.
Object theatre, mask, dance, film and sculpture combine in this unusual show, which has the game of chess as its central theme.
A feel good comedy show featuring space travel and Scottish rock, delivered with aplomb by a pair of grey woolly socks in a tartan booth.
A menagerie of puppets feature during this bizarre adventure down the pipe of a fantastical machine, including a life size whacky professor and a little girl carved from smooth wood.
A charming production for adults based on the stories by the late Nobel prize winning poet Juan Ramón Jiménez, this production charts the travels of a little marionette donkey and his narrator owner.
If you've watched television at any point during the last forty years or so, you'll know Ronnie Le Drew. From his infamous turn as Zippy from Rainbow, to various characters from Roger and the Rottentrolls, he has quite literally done it all.
A Norwegian fairytale for adults only, this production tells its dark story using beautifully made puppets and fantastic lighting design.
A powerful piece inspired by child victims’ accounts of the atomic bombings in Japan at the end of the Second World War, using shadows, masks on hands, half-body puppets with human legs and paper cranes of all sizes.
A reimagining of a classic TV series aimed at families, this production mixes live action, rod and glove puppetry and animation to create the weird and wonderful Land of Nog.
A landmark staging of an old classic, this accomplished new production from the brains behind 'War Horse' makes use of tabletop puppetry, object theatre, bunraku and much more.
Playful energy, various puppets and plenty of colourful props combine in this adaptation of Neil Gaiman's popular picture book ‘Crazy Hair’.
An imaginative production that tells Hans Christian Andersen's tale using all kinds of different types of puppetry, animation and projection.
An experimental. ambitious and wordless performance that is as much dance, mime and symphony as it is puppet theatre, and is an example of interdisciplinary theatre at its best.
Based on a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this is an original and captivating adaptation that combines inventive, varied puppetry techniques, romantic horror and subtle humour to great effect.
An energetic and exuberant performance, where a huge array of well-crafted puppets, animation and live music combine to tell Gogol's surreal story.
A 60-minute leap into the life of a housebound old man, which glitters with ethical dilemmas but retains plenty of room for superb dialogue and the odd joke.
‘Dinosaur Petting Zoo’ is an excuse to bring some extinct creatures back to life and offers young audiences the chance to interact with some magnificent dinosaur puppets.
A 45 minute frolic where jazz and comedy meet pure fun, ‘There’s a Monster in my Piano’ uses animation, hand and glove puppetry to charm its young audience.
The intense performance is structured by the logic of the dream. Toys, everyday objects, song lyrics, words from old stories and onomatopoeic sounds – all have equal status as things on stage.
This is a puppet cabaret conceived from interviews conducted across Northern Ireland and loosely based on the ‘Kama Sutra’ text. It presents beliefs, perceptions and stereotypes of both Hindu and Northern Irish sexuality and relationships.
A one-man show using muppet-style puppets, which tells the infamous story of the final moments of Hitler, Eva Braun, Goebbels et al in their underground bunker.
A carefully crafted, creatively shot and great fun 15 minute film, which is presented in a documentary style and blends live action and frame-by-frame paper cut out animation.
Spiralling alcoholism, game hunting, neglect and gardening are the themes that flow through this feature-length animation shot frame by frame on 16mm, which brings 2D paper puppets, toy cars, old photos and pencil drawings to life.
This ethnodrama uses puppetry to bring to life verbatim text taken from three years of research on end-of-life care.
What do you get if you cross a black and white Hollywood movie with a busy 1950s office and a paper doll activity book? This – a two dimensional romantic adventure in paper that unfurls chaotically across a stationery strewn desktop.
A one-man show that explores the cultural heritage of the Jewish community using objects, toy theatre and cardboard boxes.
A fast-paced one man show that delivers a quirky bundle of puppetry, circus, film, magic and mayhem, and showcases the epic skill set of a Cirque du Soleil trained clown.
Like all good puppetry, this performance explores that quirky impulse of ours to imbue inanimate objects with life. Except here objects aren’t just given life by puppeteers; their movements are enhanced and extended by radio-controlled mechanics.
A short and simple performance – without set or technology – featuring tabletop puppetry and offering a masterclass in manipulation.
A puppet-master hangs up his toy performers and then stomps off. Is what comes after only in the minds of the puppets? This is visual theatre at its most maddening, haunting and virtuosic.
An ambitious project with a deliberately naïve style, this performance races through the whole Bible and beyond, to the Crusades and right up to today's suicide bombers.
Rather than a set of vignettes, as traditional Chinese hand puppetry might dictate, ‘Hand Stories’ is a meditation on the dexterous potential of the hands that never takes itself too seriously.
Adapting a novel as complex, well-known and revered as Bulgakov’s is an act of hubris that few theatre companies could hope to live up to. Back for its second run at the Barbican, this carefully constructed show manages to encapsulate most of the complex and twisting satire.
Beautiful but soporofic storytelling is on offer in this visually arresting adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's dark tale, which uses puppetry, mask and shadows.
Part of the Spitalfields Music Winter Festival, this unusual concert produced by Opera North Projects features a combination of classical singing and live animation in the candlelit surrounds of Shoreditch Church.
Inventively blending projected animation with live action, this show is a visual treat. A bare stage, save for three simple white screens, is transformed into the deliciously seamy Bayou Mansions by three actors and an animator.
A fourth revival of Will Tuckett’s dance version of Kenneth Grahame’s children’s classic, blending dance, music, puppetry and clever set design by the Quay Brothers, with new puppets by Toby Olié.
Delicate rod puppetry is used to tell the story of a dog who dreams of being a ballet dancer, in this funny production for 2-6 year olds.
A promenade performance with puppets of Dickens' classic tale at the Petersham Playhouse, an atmospheric Georgian mansion by the Thames.
Genius Sweatshop is an emerging company of circus performers, puppeteers and design graduates. In this double bill they approach two stories that address the frailty and loneliness of male protagonists.
In this collection of six short plays, an ensemble makes use of simple costumes, object manipulation, digital projections and live music to jump from palaces to airplanes to the troubled night streets of Cairo.
Mixing mask and rod puppetry, this Little Angel Theatre production of 'Pinocchio' charts the journey of one of the world’s best known puppets from wood to flesh over a series of simple but increasingly sinister episodes.
Over two parts, Matthew Isaac Cohen reflects on the relationship between objects and live art at the 2012 SPILL Festival of Performance. Part two - mass destruction and more subtle arts.
Over two parts, Matthew Isaac Cohen reflects on the relationship between objects and live art at the 2012 SPILL Festival of Performance. Part one – live art and white goods.
Het Filiaal play with a mixture of live performance, toy theatre and shadows. The two performers move with brio between different scales and viewpoints.
Like puppetry, animation is slowly being taken more seriously as an adult art form that allows filmmakers to tackle subjects in ways live action never could.
Gobo stars and Las Vegas style revue music set the scene for Bloomsbury Theatre’s launch of English ventriloquist Paul Zerdin’s autumn tour, 'Puppet Master', sharing the bill on this occasion with the comic juggler Ben Langley. Ventriloquism has indeed become a starry art once again.
A shimmering puppet seated on an orb of moonlight hovers across a dusky stage, shared with a lone musician and his cello. It’s a magical beginning to a simple tale, which unfolds between the hours of supper and bedtime.
The clever conceit of ‘Sock Puppet’ is that the puppet on the end of the hand of struggling art school graduate Ralph Guiltless is indeed a sock – a haunted sock, possessed by the soul of a notorious Yorkshire art forger, who uses Ralph’s body to wreak revenge on the art professor and assorted others who betrayed him.
Billed as ‘South Park meets Newsnight with a whole load of cardboard’, this company’s use of popular film, comic book imagery and surreal humour belies intelligent satire and a complicated story, which was intricately brought to a conclusion.
The story unravels as an old man pulls a bit of grass from his pocket and begins to twist it together in his hands. Throuhgout, the puppets have a rough, folk-art quality, while shadow puppetry and projections are used to illuminate an inner world.
Sometimes the best theatrical treasures of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe are the small and perfectly formed ones, often hidden away in unusual performing spaces. Such was 'Ma Biche et mon Lapin'.
Extraordinary feats of team puppet manipulation, improvised dialogue and audience interaction keep the performance fresh. Not to mention the enduring impact of the striking finale.
This delicate production is thoughtful, beautifully designed and structured. It invites the audience to pay attention to familiar things and find magic there.
These are two madcap cycle contraptions that showcase Pif-Paf’s wonderful ability to create beautiful but functional objects around which a theatrical world can revolve.
As Hollywood’s inexorably saccharine skirmishes with the Narnia series have shown, it’s easy to get adaptations wrong. Fortunately there’s enough in Rupert Gould’s production to entertain old and young.
In front of a placental like projection, a scrawny, new-born crow struggles to its feet atop a mound of earth. It slowly gains control of its extremities as more puppeteers come to its aid
Brecht believed in the suppression of dishonest illusion and the involvement of the spectators in performance. He was part of a zeitgeist which brought the puppeteers onto the stage in an attempt to denude the puppets of their ‘magic’ life, to show the mechanics of their artificiality.
Nina Conti and her simian alter-ego, Monk, are no newcomers to the UK comedy scene but they never fail to amaze and delight. Ventriloquists may be a rare phenomenon in the twenty-first century but even if they were as common as ‘man with microphone does observational humour’ Conti would undoubtedly still be one of the scene’s brightest stars.
The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey proved to be one of the hot tickets of this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival (the night I went was sold out with a waiting list).
Entering into Bunk Puppet's Swamp Juice set at the Soho Theatre, looked more like someone had hung their old toys to dry on a clothes line above, while the battered ones still laid lifeless below on the ground.
In Arthur Ransome’s 1930 novel Swallows and Amazons, the four Walker children (the youngest just seven years old), sail to a Lake District island and camp there alone.
The Lonely One is an intense tale, expertly told.
To be honest, I wasn't surprised Darren East was the front man for last Sunday's performance of Me & the Sea. His personality is the perfect fit for such a well-rounded show.
This impressive devised piece provides plenty of food for thought. Louise is a painter whose ecstatic experience of creativity and heightened sensation tips into nightmare.
Improbable's masterpiece The Devil and Mister Punch is a fitting tribute to the first recorded Mr Punch in 1662, 350 years ago this year. It contains all the wife beating, baby throwing, sausage chasing shenanigans we would expect from a Punch and Judy show, along with Harvey and Hovey, bowler-hatted clown puppeteers played with exuberance and pathos in equal measure by Nick Haverson and Rob Thirtle.
It had a big heart and an engaging story told without words by three talented performers in big masks which expressed very well – and simply – the characters portrayed.
Memory paints pictures of an environment of blacks, whites and greys with sudden bursts of intense colour, as when the whole stage burns down in a ferocious fire caused by a careless smoker. Fire is noisy, and the noise of breaking wood and glass added to the fear that just maybe the fire was real and we the audience were in danger.
After a tantalising peek at Christine Saint-André's beautiful static installations in the anti-chamber, we leave our coats, bags and are shoeless and penniless as we enter the inner sanctum.
Yes, beware the wolf-man and the raven too, for in Plucked, a dark fairytale about desire and betrayal, the horny wolf does get the girl and the bitter crone raven will wreak her bitter revenge on you peck-by-peck.
The action begins with the fabulous nosy old woman, nebbing out of her cottage window and busy-bodying around the streets. She is very happy to offer her opinions and miserable premonitions.
Theatre Ad Infinitum's latest production is performed by a talented trio combining the techniques of classic mask work, dance, Feldenkrais movement, Lecoq physical training, circus skills and cabaret.
Blind Summit's new production The Table is almost three shows in one. The first slice of action sees a puppet Moses preparing to perform the last twelve hours of his life for us, in real time.
The Chaplin dynasty continues on its merry way, its latest offering being this piece of visual theatre from Charlie’s granddaughter Aurelia, directed by his daughter Victoria.
Still Life, presented by Folded Feather, was a visual journey into a post-apocalyptic landscape scattered with fragmented objects striving to find their place. The creatures inhabiting the darkness are formed from discarded objects: a chair, an old pair of boots, some pillowcases, each reconfigured into distinct characters with their own internal desires, fears, motives... hang-ups.