A richly textured atmosphere enlivens this bittersweet tale of a young boy who has a very unusual means of keeping his heart ticking. From its bleak beginnings on a cold Edinburgh morning when the boy is born to the glamorous festivities of a Parisian cabaret, this young and sprightly theatre company has the ability to transform the tightly packed little box theatre into our protagonists’ vividly created world. Using impressive puppeteering to bring our protoganist to life, the young Jack is given a surreal yet sincere humanity by the cast who each take turns at controlling the puppet. The interaction between the puppet and the actors is especially well done as a real connection is formed between them.
Throughout the performance, a devilishly sly narrator chips in with some very amusing dark comedy to balance the rather melancholy nature of the story. There are also some lovely original songs peppered throughout, accompanied by the live music performed by the ensemble. It’s an energetically performed and very likeable piece of theatre that deserves to continue to sell to a packed room. Some aspects may be a little too adult for very young audience members, such as a rather underdeveloped subplot about the young Jack’s anger issues. Whilst the story remains somewhat familiar - it is essentially Pinocchio meets Moulin Rouge - the continuous inventiveness of the storytelling from a cast who are clearly performing a labour of love make this a definite highlight with which to start a day at the Fringe.