Breaking News

Breaking News presents how people relate to the media and how news is reported, consumed, heard, read, watched and digested. Throughout the performance Va Va Voom Theatre expertly takes this concept and presents it with innovative and evocative puppetry, projected motion graphics, beautiful soundscapes and creative and interesting set design.

The audience is greeted with a series of window blinds situated front of stage. Initially closed, motion graphics presenting the living rooms of family homes are projected onto the blinds. This gives us our first glimpse of the overriding theme, as within these homes the residents are watching television.

Eventually the centre set of blinds are pulled back and we see our protagonist puppet for the performance. A headless dressing gown sits behind a makeshift breakfast table. The puppet is controlled by S. Sunna Reynisdòttir and Irena Stratieva. One performer has her arm up the right hand sleeve and another up the left as they stand partially concealed behind the bright red gown. The protagonist struggles with a laptop, smart phone, TV and radio, all presenting news in their different forms. This struggle continues when a newspaper is delivered and the puppeteers tussle with the pages which seem to come to life in their hands.

The performance and theme continue and a dark tone ensues with the performers struggling with projected text, which they unsuccessfully attempt to consume. This change of pace reveals an intense emotion which is exuberantly reflected by the puppeteers.

To the side of the stage musician Sòley Stefànsdòttir adds a variety of soundscapes that reflect the mood of the faceless and nameless protagonist and helps develop the character and the themes beyond the puppetry on show and this adds to the aforementioned emotion.

Breaking News is an compelling and delightful representation of how we consume the news. The puppetry has character and soul which makes the performance all the more interesting. A variety of theme would have improved the performance, however Va Va Voom theatre expressed Breaking News with style and emotion.

Reviews by Steven Fraser

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Performances

The Blurb

VaVaVoom is a visual theatre collective from Iceland with a unique brand of experimental storytelling. Breaking News takes its audience into a magical world of puppets, pop-up sets and video landscapes to explore the consequences of news addiction.