Tuesday 9th August 14.00
Back in 2010 Bunk Puppets took us back to our childhood with “Sticks Stones Broken Bones” (also playing at this year’s festival)
Since then we have thoroughly enjoyed their subsequent shows “Swamp Juice” and “Slapdash Galaxy”. and after a three year
gap we were delighted to see they were returning with a new show “ TinkTank”. Sadly, the multi DARKCHAT award winning
Jeff Achtem would not be performing this year but we were looking forward to seeing what Hamish Fletcher and Julian Chapple
It was also nice to discover they would be performing at a new venue, Underbelly at Potterow and very impressive it was too.
Oddly they are only staging 7 different shows and DARKCHAT watched 4 of them and as we followed “TinkTank” with
“Ada/Ava” and “Wonderman” we watched 3 successive shows here.
The demographic of a Bunk Puppets show is always interesting to watch. They are billed in the theatre section but (naturally) a
lot of children (often very young) make up the audience. One of the joys of their show is that you check in your age at the
entrance (not literally) and you become a willing participant in their unique type of visual magic.
Using a collection of odd looking props and some strategically placed lights they create a succession of beautiful tableaux on
some sheets hanging up. Suddenly we are on a farm in deepest America with a variety of farm animals. All is well until the
unwelcome arrival of a tornado which sweeps them all into the sea (another brilliantly unexpected use of props).
We are now heading towards the eagerly awaited 3D finale. A good reviewer never reveals the climax of a show and to be honest I couldn’t if I wanted to as sadly, due to a technical difficulty we never saw the 3D effects. They tried their best to cover these problems with a lengthy disco break while people worked frantically behind the scenes. In the end they had to admit defeat and get volunteers from the audience to recreate the missing characters.
I am not a believer in conspiracy theories but I am tempted to investigate the management of the Cheam Drama company as they couldn’t wait to get their cast on stage and shamelessly plug their show. I found them so annoying I won’t name their show here.
A Bunk Puppets show is unlike anything else at the Fringe. They are always charming and entertaining but unfortunately the problems at the end meant that on this particular day they could not fulfil their potential.