Etcetera ***

Etcetera is an experimental piece of puppet theatre from Eastern Europe. As the show begins, the stage is filled with tables and lifeless and expressionless cloth dolls draped upon them and lying on the floor.

Then, three black-clad women take the stage and begin to circle the puppets, choosing one after another and bringing them to life. Without words, each puppet begins to move and acts out a small vignette, ultimately leading to the doll’s doom. Some are hung by ropes they are unable to escape; others strapped to a bicycle wheel; even a tiny child puppet doesn’t escape its fate.
By the end of the performance, each doll is taped up to a black backdrop, and they hang there, now even more lifeless than they began. The puppeteers, like Greek Fates, have toyed with them and now melt away once more into the darkness.
Although a little overlong and at times obtuse, Etcetera contains enough visually striking imagery and poignant moments to ultimately impress.
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