“Why must we puppet? What is it to animate? What invisible hands manipulate our strings? Might they fear us just as we fear puppets? This is a show about responsibility. It is about shame. It possesses neither.”

What does that even mean? By the end of the show, I still didn’t know.

Two fingers under torch-light take on the persona of a character, a living thing, which seeks out another of its kind. The fingers discover they are part of two larger beings, with legs, arms, bodies and faces with eyes and mouths which makes sounds – ooh, aah, eek, laughter, anger and anguish.

The beings discover they can speak words, and hear each other’s thoughts, then hear the thoughts of the audience: “What’s it about? I don’t understand this at all. Why can’t there be a story? All I want is a story.”

A story, of sorts, begins. A man making toast, chatting to his brother, when his wife arrives claiming she’s just come from seeing her lover.

There is devised and performed by Emily Tomlins and Angus Grant, two strong likeable, funny, honest performers. The audience certainly appreciated the fast-paced comic material, even though some of it might have skated over our heads.

Directed by Marcel Dorney, There is a visually and aurally engaging piece, but the premise isn’t strong enough to get much deeper than that. Interesting? Yes. Entertaining? Mostly. Amusing? Sure. Strong actors? Absolutely. A show you walk out of desperately wanting to tell your family and friends they can’t miss it?

Not so much.

Elbow Room Presents

Venue: Festival Hub - Lithuanian Club, The Loft
Dates: 4 - 11 Oct 2008
Times: 9pm, 8pm Sunday Excluding Monday 6th October
Tickets: Conc $12.00, Full $15.00, Tightarse Tues $10.00
Bookings: Festival Tix: 03 9660 9666 or www.melbournefringe.com.au

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