fringe: pegging up the sky

pegging up the sky - gabrielle griffin and cielPegging Up The Sky by "Adult Puppeteer" Gabrielle Griffin is a wonderfully performed, if brief (at just over 30 minutes), show.

It put me in mind of Cabaret Décadanse from the Cabaret Festival a couple of years ago, not only because of the way the puppet is operated but also the fact that both shows are definitely not for children.

The puppet, Ciel, is wonderfully expressive, even though it has no eyes and fairly rudimentary features, and doubly so because the show has no words.

Griffin is a skilled puppeteer, Ciel moves, dances and emotes and you buy into it completely.

The only things that let the show down were things not connected with the actual puppeteering.

Given how other-wordly, quiet and still the show is, having Griffith outside before the show spruiking and introducing the show before it started did tend to rob it of it's mystique somewhat. It felt as though it really would have benefited from a "Grimstones" approach... keeping the puppeteer as part of the story instead of being just a regular person.

And this may be a sign that I'm turning into an old man, but the music was entirely too loud, particularly given that Griffith encouraged the audience to sit as close to the front as possible, the volume could have been reduced to about a third of what it was and still been perfect. Essentially, when the music starts to distort it means it's just too loud.

I'm also not sure how well the lights were working... they seemed to be a little all over the place throughout the show, which didn't really help.

But it was opening night, and hopefully all those little things will improve, because it is a beautifully performed show by a talented woman.

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