‘The Fantastical Tale of the Boy on the Run’ - Flying Dutchman
A sweet and absurd solo show, ‘The Fantastical Tale of the Boy on the Run’ is 30 minutes of pure madness from fairytale inspired theatre company Flying Dutchman. The scenery and set is all in miniature and folds out from a large homemade book, from which carious locations such as an enchanted sparkling forest or a spooky cave with sharp teeth are gently assembled. These intricate sets provide much of the show’s charm and have the audience shuffling about trying to catch a closer look.
Tice Oakfield, Flying Dutchman’s Artistic Director, is engaging and comical as the show’s solo performer, singing silly rhymes and leaping about the stage. The puppets, however, are pretty basic – mini paper cut-outs of the show’s protagonist (a tiny version of Oakfield) and the various creatures he encounters. Oakfield’s manipulation of these small paper creatures mainly involves him walking them about on the tabletop as if they are bouncing up and down in the air, in a style not dissimilar to a toddler playing with a doll.
Those expecting highbrow puppetry will be disappointed but that is not what this show is about. Oakfield’s interactions with the audience are modest and often self-deprecating - he does not claim to be a master puppeteer but is a captivating storyteller and the jumpy movements of his mini characters fit his style well.With it’s cute, sparkly sets and buzzing narrator, the show would fit perfectly as a piece of children’s theatre if it were not for the repeated references to magic mushrooms, which are the main driving force behind the show’s narrative.
This is peculiar but enjoyable piece of theatre that while it doesn't deliver expert puppetry is packed with imaginative and comical turns.
‘The Fantastical Tale of the Boy on the Run’