Soma International, Cabaret Decadanse

Review in Issue 16-3/4 | Autumn 2004

Soma's puppet show for adults is proof that the pleasure principle is still an important factor in contemporary performance. In essence, it's a series of lip-synched songs and dances superbly enacted by puppeteers Serge Deslauriers and Enock Turcotte, who animate their cast of puppet characters with a sensual and flowing skill that blurs the boundaries between flesh, bone, fabric and wood. The company's collective experiences – in puppetry of all sorts, dance and fashion design – has led to the creation of a show that utilises all these skills to maximum effect.

The influence of gay culture is also a strong element – the lip-synching female glamour-pusses being a loving nod in the direction of drag – not to mention Konrad the transvestite puppet who ends the show in a glorious leggy entanglement with compere Dominique Therrien. The compere's role is not only to provide links (often sardonic reflections on puppetry itself), but also to act as an ironic counterpoint to the glamour and liveliness of the puppets – her colourless clothes, monotone voice and stilted walk making her more puppet-like than the stars of the show.

This is not a challenging or thought-provoking show – but it is not aiming to be. It is a good old-fashioned entertaining night out, created by a company whose highly competent levels of making and performing skills create an ambience of confidence that allows the audience to relax – confident that we are in safe hands.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-3/4
p. 24 - 25