La Vie Dans Une Marionette – Edinburgh Fringe Review

The White Face Crew

Gilded Balloon at the Museum

24/8/17

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Hailing from New Zealand, La Vie Dans Une Marionette is a charming and captivating story of friendship, love and companionship. It evokes silent films and clowning styles of yore, while remaining fresh and retaining a distinctive, contemporary mark.

The audience is left unsure of what to expect from the production, as it begins with a short bit on the qualities of a good and a bad audience member, which seems relatively unconnected to the rest of the show, but this is part of the productions strength. Just as you begin to expect a pure frivolous comedy, a sentimental element is introduced, and just as your (or at least my) tears are about to brim over, a moment of daftness or humour is thrown into the mix.

All three performers deliver strong performances, with Tama Jarman demonstrating impressive mime skills, Chris Ofanoa, fluidity and control in movement sections, and Nikki Bennett shining in her various comic roles as she has the audience dissolving in laughter at her turn as the moon and her Scottish-ish accent.

The costume and stage design beautifully compliments the performances, with the simple set containing just enough pointers to convey context for the story, without cluttering the space in which the performers move. Everything on stage serves a purpose and it all fits together to create a defined aesthetic in an effective combination of prettiness and practicality.

Finding that borderline between laughter and tears, the happy and the sad on which good clowning treads, La Vie Dans Une Marionette is an enchanting production that would win over even the most stony-faced audience member.

La Vie Dans Une Marionette runs until 28th August as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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