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Jo Tomalin

Schattenwerfer-L’ombre des choses at Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes

By September 23, 2023No Comments

The shadows appear out of the darkness and they show a detailed fantasy village. Charming music gently envelopes us from the silence and the scene is set! Two figures appear in person and they begin to play with simple items on the table, they have a cup of tea and suddenly a tiny figure walks out of one of their cups! Between them, the two puppeteers make it walk very effectively and it helps to solve their problems with quick ideas, which seems like magic. The little figure has a mind of its own and wants to explore the world!

Sarah Chaudon, Clara Palau Y Herero and Tobias Tönjes of TANGRAM Kollektiv based in Germany, have created an original show incorporating shadow puppetry presented at the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes 2023, Charleville-Mézières, France.

In the imaginative interactions between the two puppeteers, Sarah Chaudon and Clara Palau Y Herero, they mirror each other and they copy their own images so there appear to be double the pair of them on the stage. Their shadows and that of a small table with tea cups are projected on a large three-section screen. The combination of their clever trickery with lights, shadows and their nimble physicality shows them in different places both in front or behind a screen which changes the perspective and is never predictable – and the element of surprise is powerful!

A very amusing piece is when tea cups on a shelf start falling and tumbling by themselves. This brought the young children in the audience to roars of laughter, even from the very young – as well as us adults. The cups defy gravity in their playfulness and we are transported to a gently place of make believe. We know it can’t happen really but the magic of the shadows allows it, which is wonderful!

The inventive way TANGRAM Kollektiv play and move from one segment to another is very free and yet linked somewhat at the same time. Their shadow play moves from one place to another whimsically experimenting with tiny then larger lights growing and getting smaller, that hold everyone’s attention before move on to their next idea. In this show, shadows create a world where it is the shadows themselves that interact with the puppeteers. If you are looking for a family show that will appeal to the very young and hold their attention throughout, then this is the show to see!