The Arts

Puppetmongers – Hard Times

Puppetmongers – Hard Times featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Hard Times
Adapted and directed by Chris Earle
Starring Ann Powell, David Powell and Anand Rajaram
At Theatre Passe Muraille until Oct. 16

Puppetmongers, co-directed by brother and sister David and Ann Powell, is usually associated with children’s shows. In taking on Hard Times by Charles Dickens, they prove that puppets can work on a very sophisticated level.

Dickens’ 1854 serialized novel, whose full title is Hard Times – For These Times, is about life during the Industrial Revolution. Chris Earle adapted the novel and also directs the production. The three actors (the Powells and Anand Rajaram) both speak for the characters, as well as carry on the connecting narration.

The glory of this production are the puppets, all designed, constructed and costumed by the Powells who also created the clever set. The show is filled with imaginative touches, and despite the bleak topic, there is plenty of humour.

In the final analysis, Hard Times is a very ambitious and complex puppet show that brings life the far-reaching spirit of Dickens.

Hard Times continues at Theatre Passe Muraille Back Space until Oct. 16.

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