Snapshots 3, manipulate Festival, Traverse Theatre, Review

Submitted by Erin Roche on Tue, 12 Feb '19 1.02am
Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Puppet Animation Scotland
Lewis Sherlock (Confirm Your Humanity), Selina Malle (Lucid), Toby Jeffries (Lucid), Jenny Quinn (Lucid), Ali J Kerr (Lucid), Sophie Lippiatt (Lucid), Michael Johnson (Lucid), Ben Taylor-Muir (Lucid), Ian McClure (Tulla),
Running time

Snapshots is a series produced under the manipulate Festival, Puppet Animation Scotland’s annual celebration of innovative visual theatre and animated film. This series highlights different work-in-progress pieces and emerging talent by Scottish-based artists.

Drawing its main theme from Edvard Munch’s 1896 painting The Mermaid , two lovers perform their rendition of the Norwegian painter’s never-before-seen puppet theatre piece, The City of Free Love. Constructed first and foremost as a play, this piece weaves popular music, puppetry, and storytelling to explore the artist’s love affair with Tulla Larsen. This is a niche work; its focus on Munch’s piece The Mermaid might steer viewers onto themes of love and sacrifice, which is still a somewhat substantial if inaccurate prime takeaway from the piece. In a more real sense, this will likely be more captivating for those that know Munch beyond his most famous work, The Scream.

It is strange that we know so little about dreams. Fragments of dreams may remain after waking, and often those dreams are far darker than we wish our minds to be. This physical dance-based theatrical piece delves with deftness into sleep paralysis, night terrors and the dance between the conscious and the subconscious.

Stunning; ingenious; brilliant. This one blew me away. Charlie Chaplin has entered the Information Age. Like so many of us, he is lit up in darkness from below with the light of his device (in this instance, his laptop). But with a projector and a mechanical whisk, Lewis Sherlock leverages his nod to the silent film era in a way that confronts and affirms online overload. We are veritable “cyborgs”, Sherlock argues, amped up with, yet disturbingly attached to, technology that makes us practically superhuman. In a rousing speech akin those of the famed bowler-hat-sporting icon himself, Sherlock unveils a truth that is most precious: the theatre is maybe one the last places that we are truly unplugged and fully present, together, in the moment. And what a moment it was.