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3 stars ***
Summerhall (Venue 26)

Sara Marti and S. Sunna Reynisdottir are two young puppeteers and theatre-makers based in London and Reykjavik; and this latest show from their company VaVaVoom makes a brave and visually inventive attempt to get to grip with a world in which we all seem increasingly addicted to 24 hour rolling news and internet updates. The show’s central character, represented by a simple red dressing gown, seems to be some kind of old journalist, sitting at a kitchen table in the window of an apartment block, surrounded by radio and newspaper, laptop, television and smartphone; the apartment block itself is vividly realised through a set that combines live action with a wall of subtle monochrome video, showing other apartments, other lives.

The problem, though, is that it’s not entirely clear what happens next; it’s as if the central character, in tiny puppet form, has a dream or takes a journey into a past life where he travelled the world, visiting cities devastated by war, and hammering out stories on a typewriter. There’s plenty of vivid imagery here, from the projected walls of newsprint to the tiny cardboard town that is both home and war zone. Yet VaVaVoom look like a company who could use a little more clarity of thought and narrative, and a little less hi-tech visual imagery; if they want their shows to touch hearts and provoke thought, as well as providing all the bells and whistles of a technically sophisticated spectacle, in the fashionable world of miniature theatre.

Joyce McMillan
Until 25
p.264

ENDS ENDS

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