In 2018 we are becoming a wash with screens and, are at risk of loosing ourselves among the encroaching digital realms. So, facing this sort of reality, are we also at risk of loosing connection with a kind of innocence that performance, among other things, can unlock within us? Mime is an ancient theatrical form. When done well, it can become something beautiful, its pull away from the realm of words resorting us to a more elemental physical world, akin to that of a child whom is, perhaps, only just learning to speak. La Vie Dans Une Marionette from New Zealand’s “The White Face Crew” is one such performance that successfully unlocks this kind of innocence within audience.
The narrative follows a familiar trajectory, tracing its way through a place of loneliness and rejection. Our main character, finds companionship in a beautiful, innocent and most magical of things, as he brings, through music, his puppet companion to life. The choreographic language rooted in the realms of mime and physical theatre, dips elsewhere with lightness and ease. At times, it also enters the realms of contemporary dance or straight down the line hip-hop.
This work doesn’t stop at just being a beautifully orchestrated piece of physicality. The story rolls on with scenes that paint the back story and, reaching a deft climax, allows the audience to witness the experience and effects of grief on an individual. In the blink of an eye we witness our main character’s body and existence becoming weathered in time.
The humor here is light, universal and the study of the human condition needs not be too deep. Though there are moments that teeter on a more adult sense of humor, they are delivered in a skillful manner: they fly over the heads of little ones in the audience, whilst not excluding them from the overall narrative experience. Quite often, it is the supporting character, The Moon, that steals the show, featuring some of the worst, yet somehow, most side splitting puns possibly offered in theatre for quite some time.
It’s impossible not to love this work: it is fun and exciting, beautifully executed and just the right length. It has a perfect balance of magic and depth of character to appeal to audiences of any generation. Sometimes the power of theatre is not about what message it seeks to put forward, but how, as in this instance, it can bring people together.