Director: Maria Tri Sulistyani
Reviewer: David Doyle
Papermoon Puppet Theatre brings a tale likely unknown to most people in this part of the world to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the aftermath of a failed communist coup d’état in Indonesia. It’s a dark tale following the seizure of Baba by an armed group leaving his two children, Tupu and Moyo to fend for themselves. Told entirely non-verbally it’s a striking tale that has some beautiful and touching moments in it.
The most impressive aspect of the production is undoubtedly the puppetry on display. The four puppeteers display exemplary skill and really manage to bring the puppets to life. The design of the puppets themselves is sublime with faces that seem to shift from joy in the early happy moments of the piece to a pained expression once the drama begins to unfold. The storytelling is simple yet wonderfully expressive, and the puppeteers manage to tell an incredibly complex story using just a handful of puppets and props, something which has to be greatly admired. They manage to turn the political personal, and create a story with which audiences can really connect.
The show feels somewhat less successful when it moves away from puppetry with moments of projection and physical theatre slowing down the story and detract somewhat from the personal aspect of the tale, which is what the audience can connect most easily with. However these moments are brief enough not to take away from the piece as a whole. There’s a huge amount to admire about this production and it’s worth seeing for the sublime puppetry alone.
Runs until 31 August 2015