Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Bethany Lewis got hit on the head and ended up seeing things. Her visions start to come true and with the rise of celebrity culture, everyone wants a piece of her action. That includes a government struggling for popularity that seems to come out of a disturbing future where some floppy haired blond man is in power. It ends with her not being able to hold onto life but leaves a legacy of seeing things that disturb me, those who are in her path and the rest who are sitting watching.
Puppetry has come such a long way and this adds to the development of getting it out of a child’s realm and straight into the adult chamber. Bethany Lewis is an engaging character who has a naivete and simplicity that most people share when it comes to what they want in life. Unfortunately, Bethany becomes the messiah by mistake.
The puppetry is of a decent quality with the puppets, particularly the PM showing an adept view of current issues which thematically keep the narrative rolling along very nicely. Bethany’s husband Gary and her best friend Jade are two of my favourites as they have been created as characters and not as puppets. It means the script has a bit of depth whilst asking us to deal with adults with their hands manipulating our protagonists.
The direction keeps things going and the entrance of the celebrity Regretta Danby gives us a subtle change of mood and atmosphere whilst the resistance to fame that is only skin deep from Bethany is handled with aplomb.
The themes contained in the piece are what make the piece work well as they are of today and we have a distance in examining them because it is puppets who are suffering for them. Having said that, the fate which befalls Bethany is one that was not devoutly to be wished and it shows just how engaged I became by the end of it. The SWAT team is easily the funniest visual gag of the piece.
Overall as late night shows go this is a good way to end your day with enough adult humour to keep you laughing and a premise that is not so far fetched you wake up in the middle thinking – but this is only puppets.