If you give a quick ﬂick through the Fringe programme, it will be fairly obvious that puppetry is on the rise in the theatre section this year.
The five performers convey the story with passionate monologues and engaging storytelling.
The story is similar to that of The Little Mermaid, except without the fantasy elements. The fantastical has been replaced by folk music, storytelling and pantomime, which makes this production enjoyable, but lacking some of the magic to make the story feel like a thoroughly engaging fairytale. Instead of fantasy, the audience is exposed to over-the-top character comedy that comes across a bit overdone and obvious, even for a family-orientated show. Having said this, the five performers at Rust and Stardust Productions do their best to embody the characters and convey the story with passionate monologues and engaging storytelling.
The use of animation in the show is a deﬁnite strong point. On occasions we witness paper cutout and shadow puppetry animation projected onto a screen towards the back of the performance space. This helps set the scene and showcase the stormy and tranquil seas of Orford. This element is not, however, used anywhere near enough, and the performance feels less appealing when the animation is absent.
The Wild Man of Orford is part of the ‘Sea of Stories’ season at Sweet Grassmarket. The concept of presenting stories about the sea is an interesting one. It may not have done enough to draw the audience into its stormy waters, but it is worth a watch if you like your theatre with a touch of puppetry and folk music.