Figurentheater Tübingen, Flamingo Bar

Review in Issue 12-1 | Spring 2000

Watching a long spindly, Giacometti-like male puppet sitting lifelessly watching a series of other long, spindly, Giacometti-like female puppets doing a striptease is a bizarre experience. The male puppet never reacts – not once throughout the show – to the array of female figures presented to him. If puppeteer Frank Soehnle was making some kind of point in this show, I didn't get it. And I didn't really feel like trying to understand, because I felt alienated watching his strange, wistful puppets as they performed a combination of Butoh and classical ballet.

Flamingo Bar has a kind of cabaret, strip club feel. Watching it made me feel a bit like a voyeur watching a little boy playing with his toy(s). Every pun intended. Seeing female puppets – the larger than life big-breasted opera singer, the flirty, fluffy sex kitten; the evil witch from hell – used as sex objects could (and some would say should) present a multitude of metaphoric possibilities. The choice of puppets in themselves made me wonder where Frank Soehnle was coming from. The puppets do have a kind of haunting quality about them, and watching them interact in an almost lifeless way does conjure up an image of the sex industry as a world of the dead. A starting point filled with potential. But that was it. Apart, that is, from a hilarious scene in which a whippet watches The Barber of Seville – which admittedly made me laugh more than I have for a long time.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-1
p. 23