ZeroZero Theatre, Body Parts

Review in Issue 14-2 | Summer 2002

Much of the deeply felt fascination with puppets is to do with their power of transformation. Despite all evidence to the contrary, we willingly suspend disbelief to allow a bundle of cloth, piece of moulded latex or wooden stick to become anything we want it to be, an enactor of our fears and fantasies.

These crucial elements of puppetry are exploited to the full in ZeroZero’s Body Parts. Three puppeteers animate the space – fully visible and often engaging with their animations. Although they are occasionally unsure of their stance, they are for the most part confident and in control.

The component parts of a humanoid life-size puppet are investigated in a humorous, touching and sometimes macabre play on what could be described as a twist on the Gestalt belief that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Here, the parts are more than the sum of the whole – an ever-multiplying number of bizarre creatures and hybrid constructions emerging from its deconstruction. Dismembered limbs turn into snake-like beings that merge and separate. A little clay man emerges from inside the larger puppet – part alter-ego, part mischievous imp. The chest and abdomen of the super puppet houses a whole cabaret act.

For the most part, these metamorphoses happen wordlessly to a recorded soundtrack, the ‘cabaret’ section being an exception that doesn’t quite work as is: the language-reliant comedy being a little weak. Although this was presented as a work-in-progress, Body Parts was a well-realised and visually exciting piece of new puppet theatre. Catch it at the visions festival in October!

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-2
p. 28