Seas of Organillo, manipulate Festival 2014, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Stephen Mottram's Animata
Stephen Mottram (puppeteer), James Lewis (lighting), Sebastian Castagna (music)
Stephen Mottram
Running time

The annual manipulate Festival of puppetry and animation aims "to entertain, intrigue and inspire” and certainly Seas of Organillo did just that. Devised by Stephen Mottram, an acclaimed puppeteer, we were transported into the underworld and taken on a fantastical journey as it explored concepts of fertility and conception.

The music was composed by the talented Argentinian Sebastian Castagna who crafted the score from sounds created by an Organillo which he and Stephen took four months to build.

When the show began we were lulled into a semi-soporific state as the music simulated the sound of the sea lapping over pebbles on a beach. On stage was a cylindrical tower, behind which Stephen Mottram dexterously manipulated the puppets starting with a miniature figure in a dingy being rowed across the stage.

With superb lighting effects by James Lewis we were then plunged into metaphorical deep water with a shoal of shimmering fish. Gradually one, then two figures emerge (Stephen brilliantly emulated swimming strokes). They kiss in the Seas of Organillo then go their separate ways.

Soon after the imagery of ovum and sperm is replicated with astounding lighting effects and puppetry genius. At the end, a tiny figure bursts astonishingly out of a golden ball, and as it tentatively flutters its arms the music mirrors its voice of innocence.

Stephen Mottram is a master of his puppetry craft - not only with the creation of the range of puppets, but also with his skill at manipulating imagery – and with the combination of outstanding lighting effects and haunting music Seas of Organillo was indeed a magical, mesmerising show.

Show times

Show ended (1 show on 4 Feb only)

£16/£12 concessions /£8 unemployed, disabled