Cap and Bells Puppets, On the Other Hand

Review in Issue 8-2 | Summer 1996

Their pre-publicity promised a 'short, bitter, witty, wise aperitif of a show' and veteran puppet director Violet Philpott and her four-strong team of puppeteers, unpeturbed by a disco in the basement, presented just that to a full and appreciative house at the Camden People's Theatre. A quirky collection of short pieces featured a varied array of puppets, including rod and glove puppets as well as lighted balloons and tubes, which acted out perhaps the most successful sketch of the bunch, Seen in the Dark, set at a fairground. The puppet work itself was generally very competent and the show both charming and naive. In Sorry, we discovered coloured socks driving ambulances and performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

There was an occasional tendency for some heavy-handed sentiment, in particular Cut Flowers, a lengthy portrayal of soldiers going off to war by puppetless hands accompanied by a weary version of ‘Where have all the Flowers Gone?'. An uncomfortable mix of body puppets and actors performed Pleas, in which a group of beggars with faces on both sides of their heads encountered a philanthropist and a Big Issue vendor before advancing on the audience with hands outstretched.

But overall, this was a heart-warming and thoroughly entertaining 45 minutes, energetically delivered by Cressida Bhavan, Sarah Burgess, Gail Cullen and Perse Peett who battled with the throbbing bass frequencies coming up through the floor and managed to achieve what all good aperitifs should prepare you for – the next course!

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 1996

This article in the magazine

Issue 8-2
p. 20