La MaMa is presenting a puppet series which kicks off with THE ORPHAN CIRCUS by the Les Sages Fous group from Quebec. The show is built around two performers who play junk peddlers and introduce us to puppets who are born strange. Everything is accompanied by music created by composer Christian Laflamme. During the show we meet a dreary-eyed Birdman who flutters around in a cage and the Mermaid Lady. The two of them share an impossible love due to their living habits. We also meet an acrobatic worm, the dominating ring leader, as well as other odd characters.
The show was reminiscent of a Tim Burton movie. All the puppets had droopy smirks and looked downcast. Some of them were very small which made it a bit hard to see at times. The set was very functional. Since it took place in a junkyard, all the pieces were used throughout the show. Characters popped out of trash cans and string wire hung from above was used for tricks.
Never in my life did I imagine seeing a puppet pole dance but I did in this show. Many times both actors used small magnetic sticks to move the puppets. Instead of being distracting, they were so good at it, you were actually mesmerized by the puppets themselves. They came to life and you felt for them.
It was a confusing at times when the actors changed between speaking French and English. If they had chosen one language and fully developed that, it would have made more sense. Instead, we weren’t sure what was coming next. The show was an interesting art piece and I would suggest it for older audiences who enjoy puppets. For more information on the puppet series take a look at: http://lamama.org/
Rating: That Is The Question