Theatre Insomnia, The Golden Bridge

Review in Issue 12-4 | Winter 2000

In contrast to much of the work in visions 2000, The Golden Bridge is a traditional puppet show that relies on the quiet unfolding of a classic fairytale. There are no hi-tech interventions or ironic narrative reversals, just an archetypal story that is told with simple skill by two narrator puppeteers. The Golden Bridge, like many fairytales, is the story of a journey, a transition from one state to another.

Unusually, it is not only the male hero but also the princess-heroine who must equally pass through her journey's trials before the couple can be united. Unfortunately, the company choose to abridge this section of the story quite drastically, creating an imbalance that robs it of some of its strength. Nevertheless, the essence of the story is well interpreted using lovingly crafted puppets made of natural materials, silk cloths and simple fairy lights. There is a well-kept balance between movement and stillness; puppets and objects are placed in tableaux as the action moves to another part of the stage.

The scenography is the driving force behind the piece – Romanian director Felicia Negomireaunu is also an artist/maker. There are times when the visual strengths are let down by sections of dialogue that feel stilted and delivered without conviction. Both of the performers, company co-founder Sean Myatt and Kathryn Powell, seem more comfortable as puppeteer/storytellers than in actor mode. A favourite moment came towards the end as they smiled warmly at each other like loving parents when their puppets were finally reunited. It was, however, a delight to witness such a gentle and moving piece of theatre, that proved that there is still a place for simplicity in the modern world.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-4
p. 24