Green Ginger, Slaphead

Review in Issue 10-4 | Winter 1998

Slaphead is the life story of Dibdin Todd. Ever since his healthy crop of hair was untimely ripped from his scalp by Dr Sprout, Dibdin’s life has been a round of rejection and humiliation. When he discovers a vengeful lust for snipping the luxuriant locks off other people’s heads, Todd sets about settling a few scores. Green Ginger re-work the Sweeney Todd story to tell a dark tale that is both wonderfully grisly and gloriously entertaining.

The company was undoubtedly the highlight of BAC’s weekend of puppetry and object animation. Green Ginger create a world in which reality and fantasy collide. Puppets look like people and people look like puppets; the two become almost indistinguishable. Some characters alternate from puppet to performer and back again. Anything is possible. The torture scenes are genuinely horrifying – the audience squeal as a tongue is swiftly removed from its owner’s mouth. The black humour is all the more delightful because it is daring, wicked and constantly surprising.

Green Ginger create a theatrical style in which, metaphorically, they get away with murder. Their irreverence thrills as well as shocks, but never appals. Cruelty is followed by a jolly dance routine, which in turn is followed by a fatal stabbing. This is theatre in which everything is big – from Dibdin’s out-sized head to the monstrous proportion of his vengefulness.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-4
p. 22