Very nice review of the FIMFA festival in Lisbon, Portugal from the Spanish puppetry site www.titeresante.es
Here’s the English translation:
“Smart as a donkey” by TAMTAM Objektentheater.
From Holland comes this delightful show aimed at children but that leaves gawking adults who attend it.
It is a creation of veteran theater company TAMTAM Objektentheater which since 1979 works in objecttheatre, a genre now well known, but which at the time represented a complete break with the old classic puppet theater.
It is presented in the CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém) where it is scheduled from 9 to 13 May with a daily performance in the rehearsal room of this important center of Lisbon, a place really perfect for the show.
The work, without words and puppets made with rejects and objects found in the street, tells the story of a donkey, trapped by the social mold that says donkeys are, indeed, stubborn donkeys iby nature and in popular belief. Until he decides to get out of it, proving that this is possible although he has to pass through the most nightmarish sufferings.
Gérard Schiphorst and Marije van der Sande, authors, developers and performers of the story have collaborated with artist Wim Hofman, who has for this occasion made the drawings that appear in the stop motion video that accompanies the action. The dramaturgical combination of puppetry with video is perfect, the result no doubt of the long experience of this pair of artists: when the immediacy of the puppets and objects saturate the scene, the video creates a counterpoint of poetic distance, captivates children and also marks the different transitions of the story to new scenes.
Very well achieved are the characters of anodyne but powerful objects, such as the two bad guys, made with an ax and a cleaver, two blunt and aggressive instruments chasing the poor donkey as a stimulating way to keep the story going. And a very elaborate and slick last scene in a circus, with a joyful and surprising end, very well resolved and integrated into the scenography. The soundtrack of the show is also a highlight, an essential component in a play without words, to which the puppeteers from time to time add small interjections, onomatopoeic noises and other sounds.
Definitely one of the best object theater shows recently viewed.”