The Table, from the UK based Blind Summit Theatre, was the hit of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival. The work focuses entirely on a puppet and his life on a singular table, although there is a small break into what the troupe calls ‘French Puppetry’ at the end.
Firstly, this production shocks me because it is so funny. Judging almost entirely off the picture I imagined the show to be hard hitting philosophical piece. However, what I feel comes across more is an introduction to puppetry, an establishment of the conventions of the puppets world and then absurdism.
The first half of the show is mostly the puppets attempts to enact the last 24 hours before the death of Moses. This idea is thwarted by the puppets constant distractions. The first section is very imaginative and fun. It comes off as largely improvised but after talking to others who saw the production, might actually be quite scripted.
The middle section drags on a little as a new character enters. While the whole show was pretty entertaining I found it dragged on a little in the middle section. My favourite part was the ‘French Puppetry’. This involved a series of pieces of paper being pulled out of a suitcase. It was inventive and something I’d never seen before. It was nice to see the whole group work as a cohort and feed off each other.