The Tell Tale Hearts, The Adventure of Your Life

Review in Issue 10-4 | Winter 1998

The Tell Tale Hearts explore stories and storytelling through Eastern and Western forms. In The Adventure of Your Life, two aliens collect Earth stories for their home planet. The stories, which are devised from existing texts, consist of two neat parables from Japan and India respectively and a spoof melodrama from Ireland. The performers’ skills are not always up to task, but they succeed in charming the junior audience with their generosity and inventiveness. There are moments of theatrical brilliance. For instance, the two miniature aliens are shown growing to human-size, simply by the performers removing their glove puppets and revealing themselves in costume.

But the piece falls down in its framing device. Between stories the puppet-form extra-terrestrials bicker and gad about inanely. It turns out that they are killing time while the rather distracted puppeteers change their costumes behind a screen. The kids aren’t fooled and what goes on amongst the audience becomes more entertaining than the on-stage antics. Also the intriguing stories are never really allowed space to resonate. What parallels can these stories draw between cultures? Why do we need stories? The premise raises questions that are conspicuously ignored by the narrative. The result is a well-intentioned, amusing, but ultimately frustrating diversion.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-4
p. 23