Famous Puppet Death Scenes
31 to Feb. 2, 8 p.m.
$28, $25, $22
thinking about puppets, joyful and child-like images come to mind:
fuzzy blue cookie monster with his
googly eyes always chowing down on a chocolate chip cookie, or maybe the little
wooden puppet Pinocchio on his search to become a real live boy.
about warm fuzzies, not the death crone.
reaper, made of paste and paper, comes to town as the Old Trout Puppet Workshop
troupe takes on the capital D word with a performance of the Famous Puppet
Death Scenes from Saturday, Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. at MY Millennium Place.
expect to have their fear of death cured,” said puppeteer Peter Balkwill. “It’s
an interesting dare that to suggest that it was possible, for a brief period of
watching the show, that the last thing they’ll be thinking about is their own
be plenty to ponder over the everyman mortality, however, as puppets get
reaped, pounded and destroyed. But instead of a black mourning and eulogy
response, audiences will be laughing at the misfortune these puppets endure.
Because in the papier maché forms, audiences will see a part of themselves.
us helpless and hopeful in the same moment or do we not see glimmering in him,
that self same luminescence that powers our own hearts,” says one puppet from
the show after an oversized fist pummels a nine-to-five suit. “These are not
mere blocks of wood that suffer before you. They are your companions.”
television show Dead Like Me, Old Trout strings up demise and fatality with
humour, insight and theatrics.
Sun raved: “If Old Trout keeps producing work like this, it will surely become
one of the most vibrant and vital puppet companies in the world.”
So how does
the world’s leading puppet company make the connection between death and
are the culmination of all artistic mediums available to mankind,” said
Balkwill. “They operate as sculpture, paintings, dance, music, storytelling. We
(the troupe) all come from a different artistic background, so we throw all
those strengths of each one of us into a pot and it comes out in equal
actor and puppet connection.
operate on a different theme of the actor,” Balkwill said, noting the dead
factor between the two. Actor, alive, plays death. Puppet, dead, plays life…
and death. I started to get lost, but what I took away from the discussion was
the puppet is already dead so the response to a whack job on wood is a little
more detached for the audience, a little more laughable.
people have always applauded pain in theatre dating back to the days of jesters
falling on their heads at court for a few guffaws. Then there was Larry, Curly
and Moe and B-Grade horror films and that poor Wile E. Coyote always getting a
rock dropped on his head.
honest part of living is death, so you really begin to explore what that
means,” Balkwill said. “Generally people have no idea what to expect when going
in, but I haven’t met too many disappointed (theatergoers). Even people with a
recent experience with death have thanked us for the show. The show seems to
liberate them from the aspects of death we dwell on: grief and loss. And allows
us to ruminate on how important death is and how inevitable it is.”
inevitable that kids might not be suited for this puppet show.
$27.50 for adults, $25 for students and seniors, and $22 for MY Place members.
Puppet Death Scenes is only one of more than a dozen events taking place during
Celebration 2010, which is an official participant of the Vancouver 2008
event schedule, visit www.whistlerartscouncil.com.