Much Ado About Puffin
Made In Plymouth contributor Jesse Holliland reviews Open Attic Company’s family friendly adventure Much Ado About Puffin.
Dark undertones of loneliness and isolation are paired with a Mr Bean style dialogue, stunningly crafted puppets and an expressive physicality to bring you this beautiful story of an independent man and a precocious puffin that invites herself to stay.
Following the tiny lighthouseman, a perfect miniature of his puppeteer in yellow trouser, fisherman’s sweater and purple bobble hat, you learn his daily routine. He lives alone and seemingly content on a rocky outcrop recording weather data, it’s not until his world is literally shaken by a storm and the determined puffin that he, and you, realize how lonely he truly was. The duo cleverly uses size to create distance and perspective in a small space, alternating between delightfully detailed dollhouse miniatures, expressive hand puppets and live actors to tell a story of a special section of the sea. The dialogue is kept minimal; the story telling coming largely from comedic sounds, atmospheric music and the puppeteer’s skillful ability to allow you to understand every head tilt and intention through her own facial expressions.
This is 45 minutes of oddity deeply reminiscent of obscure European art animations from the late 20th Century; a story of beauty, laughter and love that transcends language and age barriers. “The best thing to happen to me all month” was the comment from one very satisfied viewer.
Open Attic Company, Much Ado About Puffin (credit: Gem Ward – Photographer)