The show is a mix of puppetry, mask-work, larger than life characters and a clever use of set
The show is a mix of puppetry, mask-work, larger than life characters and a clever use of set which combine to give it a unique and interesting dimension. As well as creating multi-disciplined shows, Theatre Témoin use their productions to comment on issues affecting society. Their previous Fringe endeavour, The Fantasist, portrayed issues affecting mental health, while in The Marked it is homelessness and addiction. Their mission to engage with deeper, more challenging issues has helped Theatre Témoin add much needed depth to their productions.
One area Theatre Témoin have focused much of their attention on is in the movement of actors. A particular highlight being sequences which convey the passing of time performed effectively using darting and shuffling characters. Such is the speed and dexterity with which they move about the stage, it would be easy to forget there are only three performers in this piece.
Performances throughout are thoroughly engaging and skilful, in particular Samuel Fogell as Jack, who conveys a real depth of emotion and physical presence. The show does take a while to get going and can feel a little lacking in humour and while the narration at the beginning aims to transport you into a fairy-tale, it can end up coming across dry and occasionally is a struggle to follow. Two pigeon characters are effective light-relief but are underused.
With the production still in development, it will no doubt improve over time. The puppetry and masks work, and although the transitions seem clunky, they are also engaging and help move the story forward. A truly poignant moment occurs as faces of previously hooded homeless people, seen earlier in the show, are revealed, each with a life and story of their own. As enjoyable as elements of this show are it’s not yet the final product and perhaps need viewed again at the end of its journey.