Jack Pratchard

Jonathan Storey’s beautiful paper theatre is the setting for the tale of Jack Pratchard, the falling-piano casualty who discovers the City of the Dead under a drunk man’s hat. The distinctive and appealing visual style combining dusky block colours and lighting effects is a constant delight, the silhouette section particularly successful and engaging. Through the frame at the front of the theatre many living paintings are glimpsed, created by the endless recombination of scenery and characters inside in the style of the old-fashioned toy paper theatres. Prachard’s use of the space outside the frame - the turntable of a gramophone, spaces in and around the stage area - reveal an accomplished craftsman at work.Dressed like Gepetto and with a deliberately-inane script, Storey’s fairy-tale performance suggests a youthful audience, but the target audience is in fact unclear. The disjointed story telling while Pratchard operates the theatre or changes the vinyl on his record player means that the emotive effects of the already weak story are diminished. The show is at heart a vehicle for displaying its wonderful paper theatre: I was left with the distinct feeling that I would have enjoyed it more had I been playing with it myself.

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard

Creatives

★★
Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond

★★★★★

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The Blurb

Jonathan Storey's tale of a man's journey on the other side of life, told with a marvellous model theatre that creates a world like an animated painting. Directed by Seonaid Goody. 'A brilliant feat of storytelling' (LondonTheatreBlog.co.uk).

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