As part of the Mimetic Festival, Smoking Apples present the lovely work in progress show In Our Hands. It tells the story of Alf, a trawler fisherman, who is facing many problems in both his work and personal life. Held in The Vaults under Waterloo station (with the light sound of the trains overhead) it is like being transported back to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the show itself could certainly be a hit Fringe production!
You can tell that a lot of work and thought has gone into this production, the creative use of set and props throughout the show is some of the most innovative that I have seen. Boxes become boats, fishing nets become the sea, mugs are used as muffled voices on the radio and rain is poured through a watering can! They have also incorporated many different kinds of puppets; shadow puppets, marionettes, table top puppets and even object puppets, all of which are used very skilfully. I was particularly impressed with the ‘character’ puppets, which appear to be a new take on human-arm puppets. They are no more than a head and hands, but are used so well that you forget the person holding them is even there and instead saw the body being portrayed. Music and soundscapes are used to create the right atmosphere in each scene. There is some wonderful use of torches on stage, especially when Alf is driving and they perfectly recreate the look of cars going past.
What is also interesting is that none of the characters speak onstage, the only voices heard are through the radio or on Alf’s voicemail, but despite this the physicality and noises made make it easy to follow the storyline and make you feel real empathy for Alf and his troubles.The storyline itself is pleasant, and had some really good side notes such as seeing the fish go from being fished to being sold with chips on the seaside! But it could have had more depth to it. There is also no closure at the end as we do not know what is next for Alf or his family and crew. However, as a work in progress this is to be expected and I cannot wait to see it once it is completed! Overall, it is a beautifully visual and heartfelt piece which I think suits anyone who is either a creative individual or a big sensitive kid at heart! 3/5
Review written by Charlotte Claydon.
In Our Hands was shown at the Mimetic Festival at The Vaults on Saturday 22nd November. For more information on future productions at the festival, visit here…