Review: Just Above The Clouds, Q Theatre

By Paul Simei-Barton

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In the suitable intimate space of Q Theatre's Vault a troupe of puppeteers present an utterly enchanting fable with a distinctly contemporary take on the dilemma of both craving and avoiding love.

The show's writer/director Ben Anderson shows a good feel for stream-of-consciousness dialogue with random thoughts trailing off into unfinished sentences as a pair of sparring lovers watch the clouds drift by while analysing their unravelling relationship.

The puppetry also throws up some striking visual images and allows for delightful excursions in the world of fantasy.

An imperious cloud with a wry sense of humour and a predilection for bad puns offers enigmatic pearls of wisdom and toys with the main character like a Greek god while a lively chorus carries the action and represents the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life.

The boundaries between puppet and puppeteer are artfully blurred as the reluctant lovers are presented both as doll-size puppets and as real actors with nicely understated performances from Seamus Ford and Jessie McCall.

The loving crafted puppets and stage set inventively recycle a variety of found objects creating a bespoke junkyard aesthetic that encourages audience members to bring their own imagination into the process of creating illusions.

With a nicely paced 50 minute running time the show delivers the kind of quirky, humorous entertainment that is ideally suited for the Fringe Festival.

What: Just Above the Clouds
Where: Q Theatre, Vault until 9 March

- NZ Herald

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