Hoodwink, Leap of Faith

Review in Issue 21-3 | Autumn 2009

Hoodwink are one of many unsung companies operating within the broad genre of visual theatre. They are best known for their outdoor shows but they have a track record in indoor work as well. Leap of Faith is their latest offering for the great outdoors. As the title might suggest, it takes a look at mankind’s desire to fly, the first reckless attempts to do so, and the enthusiasm that persists despite the failures.

We start off with a monk watching birds fly and becoming inspired to do likewise – his initial attempts are thwarted by lack of know-how and as he figures out how to take the first (as it were) step he is interrupted by the painful howling of one who has beaten him to it – and failed. A lovely street theatre moment as we hear the cries from a distance and a figure bursts through the crowd trailing smoke and sporting wings which are not what they were. His sandals are covered with dripping wax – a nice detail which gives a clue as to his identity.

The show develops as the two characters invent new ways to take to the air with the inevitable accompanying failures. Dramatically this could prove a problem, the low-tech aesthetic of the show means that no-one will really take off at the end but the performers are so engaging that you fail to worry about such things. The attempt to fly by a hot-air balloon ended with a bang and, by happy coincidence, as we looked up a real plane flying low overhead replaced the burst balloon.

The humour and high energy is sustained, and the show kept the attention of an audience of 250 people, despite poor weather.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2009

This article in the magazine

Issue 21-3
p. 33