A short and touching performance dealing with the hardships of losing a family member from one’s life, and how one’s imagination can conjure up a world of possibilities. The Wrong Crowd (Devon based visual theatre company) develop a clear and visually appealing work of art that takes audiences by the edge of their seats and catapults them into this dynamic new world. The piece is all a part of the London International Mime Festival and hence has no dialogue or words present throughout, but still impacts and engage the whole theatre by just subtle facial expressions; as well as bold colours and thrilling puppetry.
The story is mostly set in London and captures the feel of the busy highstreets and claustrophobic tube by just a few moving lit boxes and a manic soundscape. A young girl, after losing her mother, stays with her grandma in the big city and is clearly lost and saddened after her mother’s death. The grandma tries extremely hard to cheer up the poor soul but ends up failing to do so and as a result the young girl confines herself in her bedroom. Before passing away however, the girl’s mother has left her a present which is revealed to be a kite that comes alive and seems oddly familiar to the girl, like it’s somehow alive.
Grasping hold of the kite she then torpedoes out of her granny’s house into the sky and swoops over London, climbing Big Ben and passing through the clouds in the sky. All this section of the piece is done by puppetry and is quite a spectacle to watch, even though you see the puppeteers controlling the object. The grandma then panics and realises the girl has vanished, tracing her down with the help of the kite. Bringing the two together, flying them both home and uniting these two individuals who have both lost as much a family member as each other.
The two controllers of the piece, clearly noticeable throughout the performance act as both the space and atmosphere around the story. Lifting coats to show wind speed, moving wooden frames to signify a train in motion and generally creating a world for the characters to live and adapt too. No words are necessary in this short but sweet visual production, to which detail and honest storytelling are key in bringing what seems manufactured to life. 3.5/5
Review written by Luke Redhead.
Kite is currently showing at the Soho Theatre as part of this year’s London International Mime Festival until Saturday 6th February. For more information on the production, visit here…