DANIEL WISHES WILL BLOW YOU UNDER WITH MARIONETTES, SHADOW PUPPETS AND MUSICAL NUMBERS
I knew this would be an enthralling show. The sheer prospect of a Satan puppet and marionettes performing circus acts had me out to opening night instantly. What I witnessed, however, blew me to Hell and back in a way I didn't expect: My jaw dropped open, I smiled with childish glee and I laughed at every puppet-performed musical number like I really haven't laughed in a while. Just delight. I watched with dumb-delight as Daniel Wishes displayed his hand-made creations, each crafted with intense detail and love, each performing things I never knew puppets could do. The result is dizzying. It's like: puppets? DEVIL puppets? Devil puppets that SING, FLY, JUGGLE AND DO CIRCUS TRICKS while TELLING AN EPIC LOVE STORY WHAT IS HAPPENING???
This is what happened:
Daniel Wishes, crazy-creative-puppetry master has hailed all the way from Winnipeg to spectacular-ize a gentle (but NOT gentle) story about a heartbroken tight-rope walker. Actually, the story is quite tragic and dark (re: Devils) but what is most impressive and lovable about Wishes' work is how lightly he handles dark content. Turning darkness into light is one of our jobs as theatre creators and Wishes has mastered the craft. He pulls style and story from all kinds of places and the result is a really brilliantly crafted arrangement of the best of the best theatre components out there. The craft that goes into Wishes' show is seamless and rewarding. Hard to notice, sort of, because it's so dazzling, but I think I have him figured out.
Though the plot sounds simplistic, it is absolutely not. Creative, dark and very strange, what happens to our hero, Eurydice, after heartbreak is horrifying and gut-wrenching. Wishes has combined a number of romantic-journey plays into one three-million-dimensional story of love and loss. "The piece is based on the Greek legend of Eurydice and Orpheus, the Japanese legend of Izanami and Izagami, Beauty and the Beast and Victorian-era marionette circuses", Wishes breathlessly lists to me. "It's a bit of a mash-up." He realizes. But the result is a really well structured story of tragic love- loss wrapped up in well researched and well practiced stylistic nods use of Unraku puppets and 19th century trick marionettes. It's quite obvious: there will be no other show like it in the Fringe. Furthermore, maybe no other show like it that you'll ever see in your life, probably. Few people can handle tragedy with such whimsical elegance. Absolutely worth watching, worth enjoying and then bragging about afterwards.
CHECK IT OUT
The Devil's Circus plays at The George Ignatieff Theatre at this year's Toronto Fringe
July 02 at 07:00 PM
July 05 at 03:30 PM
July 06 at 06:30 PM
July 09 at 02:15 PM
July 10 at 11:30 PM
July 11 at 05:45 PM
July 12 at 02:15 PM