C Belle Angèle, Edinburgh
August, 2001

**** Puppetry and psychodrama much better than it sounds

The National Student Theatre Company's show reminds you that that reviewer's cliché "funny and poignant" is sometimes beautifully true.

Edmund lives in a barn. For five years he has not set foot outside, preferring to make puppets and stage shows for audiences of other puppets. When a psychiatrist and his oddball team of associates arrive to try to cure him of his disorder by acting out scenes from his life, laughter and sobriety mingle in a delicate blend.

York University's production won the collective heart of this year's National Student Drama Festival, whose sister company presents it now before the wider audience it thoroughly deserves. The piece is consistently quirky without ever making easy fun of dark emotions, and is written and performed with precision, intelligence and sensitivity. Sam Booth, who co-wrote and co-directed as well as playing Edmund, is a name to watch, and Vincent Nappo gives an enjoyably exuberant performance as Dr Dallard. The deficiencies of the playing space are rapidly forgotten over the course of a delightful hour.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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