Figurentheater Tübingen, Faces of the Night

Review in Issue 11-1 | Spring 1999

It takes a lot of skill to show an audience how something works and still sell it to them as a fantasy. This only goes to prove that Figurentheater Tübingen's Frank Soehnle is one hell of a salesman.

There are no smoke and mirrors used in this production of Faces of the Night, which marks the German company's British debut. Instead Soehnle shows us exactly how dead a piece of wood can be, and then breathes life into inanimate objects ranging from beautifully crafted puppets to the simple sheets of newspaper which litter the set.

The show examines the psychological demons which plague the human spirit. More specifically, it looks at the fact that not only do we nurture our devils, but that sometimes they can take on a life of their own and bite the thoughts that feed them. Like the puppets themselves, these demons can only thrive if we pick them up and decide to interact with them.

If it all sounds a little heavy, this is misleading. The show has a great deal of humour, jet-black though it may be. One scene, in which a devil rips apart and devours a life-size paper model of a man, has the audience rolling in the aisles. Their reaction to this carnage gives a perfect illustration of our love/hate relationship with the destructive instinct within us all.

But what happens when we learn to love, and listen to our demons too much? The silhouetted image of the swastika says it all.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1999

This article in the magazine

Issue 11-1
p. 22