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Print Version

NZ Fringe 2014
Written by Donna Oblongata
Presented by Der Vorführeffekt Theatre

at Puppies, cnr Tory & Vivian Streets, Wellington
From 11 Feb 2014 to 15 Feb 2014

Reviewed by Sophie Melchior, 11 Feb 2014

Puppetry, humour and introspection all combine in this quirky show which tells a tale of exploration and love. And not to forget fact checking.

Donna Oblongata and Patrick Costello very cleverly use space to provide an intimate experience where the audience travels through a fantastical journey narrated by three main characters – Baticus, the talking bat, a blind Siberian rope maker and The Electromagnetic Spectrum – to present a very tactile show. I did feel the inclusion of Charles Darwin on the hunt for the Yeti detracted from the other, stronger characters, but this is made up for by the excellent Yeti dance puppetry.

The two actors are clearly very comfortable in the small intimate space provided by their stage. It is a wooden structure, made especially for the show (and, we are told, for sale at the end of the run). It is more than a stage however, it is a prop and playground as well.

The interactive nature of the performance space just seems to enhance the tactile feel of the production. Puppets in many forms are used to tell parts of the story, and the tools of puppetry are used to great effect. Light and dark demark the different scenes, and the amusing use of an old slide projector and screen add real humour.

The creators seemed to want to capture an almost improvisational feel at times, effortlessly including the audience and yet further increasing the feel of an intimate show between friends.

The lounge like venue is a slight drawback however, as the seat set up makes it difficult to see some of the action off in the corners. My advice would be to get a front or second row seat so as to not miss anything.

Donna Oblongata, Patrick Costello and Sarah Lowry have created a tight show which misses very few beats. A fun exploration into where miracles really fit in and what makes us all tick. 
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