A reprise of last year’s show from Bunk Puppets and Scamp Theatre, Sticks, Stones & Broken Bones is an hour of charming and inventive shaddow puppetry from Canadian Jeff Achtem.
Creating Matt Groening-style characters from everyday objects like balloons, shoes and teddy bears, Achtem uses his fashioned puppets to enact a series of skits. Though some are more engaging than others, the theme of childlike innocence and joy in play connects them all, complemented by Achtem’s naive, Pee Wee Herman-ish mannerisms and speech.
There is much to enjoy here, particularly for younger members of the audience; and as a celebration of wonder on a junkyard budget, it is commendable. Once the initial impact of the puppetry wears off however, you find yourself wishing for a little more in the way of narrative storytelling to help breathe even more life into these unique and clever creations.
Sticks, Stones & Broken Bones runs until 16 Aug at Udderbelly’s Pasture at 14:20.