An annoyed, travel-sized bottle of brandy shuffles over to his new neighbor’s house to ask that she please turn down her television. He rings the bell. A sigh is heard within and the TV shuts off. The house opens and out onto the porch emerge a tiny empty mug. Lightening strikes! It’s love at first sight; they are made for each other.
As the lights went up on the intimate set of Ma Biche et Mon Lapin starring two sculpted ceramic tureens, one a deer and one a rabbit, the audience felt a similar thrill. The human performers, Charlotte Blin and Julien Mellano, puppeteers in the French collective Aie Aie Aie, manipulate the tableware and other items with coy panache. An excellent and affecting piece of object-theatre, Ma Biche et Mon Lapin follows the romantic triumphs and blunders of napkins and pocketknives searching for true love in this modern world. For the uninitiated, object theatre is a performance style using ordinary, mostly unaltered objects (instead of puppets built for the purpose of performing) such as one might find at home, at work, or, in this case, at any particularly kitschy and whimsical thrift shop. The show features, among other things, doilies, crockery, and an ingenious use of sneaky speakers.
Blin and Mellano perform the piece with expert timing and a profound understanding of character, narrative and humor. They seamlessly shift from embodying the personae of each object, to displaying commentary on the situation as puppeteers looking on, to becoming their own characters in this tale of many crossed lovers, all without speaking a word. Delightful and captivating, funny and poignant, the small-scale adventurers of these tiny heroes richly suggest the full-sized adventure of our own lives.