Bocadalupa, The Dodo Diaries

Review in Issue 14-2 | Summer 2002

The Dodo Diaries is a beautiful piece of theatre. I haven’t left a performance feeling so uplifted, inspired and released for a long time. No TV monitors or microphones on this stage… the images of this story are described by solo performer Jenny Sanderson (transforming into numerous characters and birds!) and imagined by us, the audience, invited to meditate on the varied social and natural landscapes of Colonial India. The moveable white cloth stretched between bamboo poles is the continually transforming backdrop for our imagination.

Imagination delicately plays throughout. The use of physical actions and gestures is clever. A brown leather suitcase is pushed away across the floor; a hand becomes a seagull; the ship is leaving a Victorian lady explorer on the shores of the Indian subcontinent – a piece of rope maps the outline of India. I hear seagulls, but I cannot remember if their cries are being played through the sound system or through my imagination.

The Dodo Diaries works an audience on many levels. There is clearly a strong creative team behind this production: complicity in everything you see and hear on stage. Will Handford’s lighting design is excellent, effective in its simple evocation of time, place and atmosphere. The scene at night, in the mouth of the tent, is gorgeously atmospheric. Jenny Sanderson and director Amy Rose have crafted a witty, poignant and thought-provoking piece of physical, storytelling theatre. They are consummate explorers, true clowns bringing the challenging complexities of simplicity back onto the stage. The Dodo Diaries is the stuff that dreams are made of. This is Total Theatre.

Presenting Artists
Date Seen
  1. Mar 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-2
p. 25