Sunday, January 21, 2007
Artists: Faulty Optic
Venue: ICA, 14 Jan 2007 - 18 Jan 2007
Soiled is a puppet show for grown ups, that played as part of the London International Mime Festival. Descriptions of a sparrow with Tourette's syndrome, a soil spitting psychic and a boxing ballerina caught my attention. Unfortunately, when we were in at the Alien Nation exhibition, I was told that the whole run had sold out, the only part of the festival that had. However, perseverance, Tuesday 16th was the night that I wanted to see, so I went down a couple hours early to ask about returns, where upon I was issued a ticket adding me to the waiting list, with 13 people already ahead of me.
Time killed - book read, tea drank - I returned, to find that most of the people with tickets ahead of me had obviously decided not to bother turning up after all. So I was able to secure a ticket to the show pretty easily it seemed. The show used a built up room and a handful of puppets primarily. A grief stricken blue man lives with his tricky pet sparrow, and is visited by the soil spitting psychic who keeps trying to cheer him up. But it isn't until our hero has his encounter with a bright light, with a boxing ballerina, that the plot becomes clear. This man was in love once, with a mermaid, they were happy together, until she died. He grieved of course, but watching the short film as flashback, it becomes clear, she was murdered!
Two black clad figures manipulate their puppets through elaborate sequences, silent, slap-stick comedy. Switching at points to the flash back provided by a projected animation on a roll down screen. To a table top city scape, where tiny figures go through the motions of hell, and are projected on to the screen once more by a hand held camera - bones ground up, hellish visions. The hole thing taking on increasingly sinister undertones. Funny and nasty, and just too clever, for all that we only really know as much about what is really happening from reading the program.
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