"The Table" (Chicago Shakespeare Theater): Moses Lives!

"The Table" (Chicago Shakespeare Theater):  Moses Lives!

Chicago Shakespeare Theater kicks off this season’s World’s Stage Series with The Table, a Blind Summit production from the United Kingdom.

Mark Down, Sean Garratt and Irena Stratieva manipulate Moses the Puppet in Blind Summit's "The Table," directed by Mark Down and developed by the company, part of Chicago Shakespeare's World's Stage Series. (photo credit: Lorna Palmer)The Table is a show about a puppet on a table. Using the traditional Japanese Bunraku style of puppetry, three performers manipulate a two foot puppet named Moses. The puppet’s body looks like a naked Dobi from the “Harry Potter” movies. His face is an oversized cardboard type tribal mask. The three handlers are so synchronized in their handling of Moses that he appears alive. Sean Garratt is his right hand and bum. Irena Stratieva is his two feet. And Mark Down is his head, his left hand and his voice. The show is a combination of part improvised and part scripted. The threesome is wonderfully in sync. As Down says the words out loud, the other two are mimicking the words with silent lip reading and puppet gestures. The illusion brings Moses to life – so much so that I expect to see the puppet unmask, revealing a small man at the curtain call.

Read the rest of my review at Chicago Theater Beat.

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