Printable CopyTHE PACKAGE
Bakehouse Theatre
Until 18 Mar 2017

Review by John Wells

“The Package” wordlessly combines mime, puppetry, animation and movement to weave together the story of an old woman reflecting on her life. Packages are brought to her and she opens them – sometimes with eagerness, sometimes with hesitation – revisiting important episodes in her life.

At its best, there are some nice moments of whimsy and charm.

Overall, however, “The Package” is lacklustre theatre. The narrative is frequently unclear and the execution lacks polish. The puppetry looks amateurish is poorly performed. Too often, the vignettes are over-long and unfocussed. There is a gloomy, almost maudlin feel to this show which soon becomes tedious. The earnest glumness is interrupted by a risqué (but amusing) scene involving some enormous faux boobs and a pendulous swinging scrotum. The kids next to me squealed with delight. Their mother looked horrified.

The three-piece band, augmenting a taped backing track, is disciplined and atmospheric. The music is inventive and fits the action perfectly; it is a real highlight of this otherwise underwhelming production.

Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)