Company: Mochinosha, the Wishes Mystical Puppet Company, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: 16 - PTE – Mainstage
Each sequence was more baffling then entertaining, and they relied too heavily on magical devices to resolve plot points.
A young girl travels from Japan to visit her grandfather in Canada. His dresser holds a number of artifacts about which he has spun wild tales to entertain his granddaughter. As she relives these stories, the girl realizes that her grandfather has died and that the dresser and the stories are now her own.
Sounds sweet but the stories are meandering and unstructured - the sort of stories a small child tells to adults. Each sequence was more baffling then entertaining, and they relied too heavily on magical devices to resolve plot points.
Performed with a variety of different puppets, there was some pretty shadow work, but many of the puppets looked indifferently finished and awkwardly manipulated. There was also an inexcusable amount of time spent watching puppets take long walks from one side of the PTE Mainstage to the other.
Finally, they played the "Chicken Dance" song. That is unforgivable.
Recommended to aspiring puppeteers who may enjoy the creative puppetry and can excuse the clumsy execution.