Review by Amanda Lancaster
Once again Spare Parts Puppet Theatre have completely outdone themselves with the new family-friendly, fun-for-all show, SPLAT! From the outset, elements of simple colour and shape, the audience is led along a roller-‐coaster ride of creative spontaneity and imagination. Without giving away too much of the show’s comedic surprise and high-energy impact it’s hard to describe what the audience is in store for.
The show is completely jam-‐packed with mixed media, colours, movement, slapstick physical comedy, music, puppetry and more. Trust me when I tell you that this is one show that will not only leave you breathless but also completely exhausted just from watching how much the three stars put into the performance. Unusual in its creative execution is the fact that SPLAT! is a wordless piece. The story instead moves along via the physical animations of the actors themselves and the subtle nuances of their facial expressions.
SPLAT’S emotion and underlying dialogue is brought to life with little need for more – once you are introduced to the cheeky, likeable characters conjured up in front of you one by one. The show’s thematic aesthetics play to the audience’s shared object memory and associations, reflecting the collective experience that is the tale’s moral of course. In fact, SPLAT! delivers one of the best demonstrations of moral undertone and explanation I have seen.
Based around the concerns of social dilemmas and stereotyping that face each of us, SPLAT! shows us that how we express express ourselves in such situations and our actions have consequences for not only us but for others too. SPLAT! is a great lesson in the need people feel to be accepted and to belong, but it is also a beautiful celebration of the importance of being your own individual self. After all, it is within your own individual selves that the power of imagination creates limitless anythings.
Amongst the ever-growing, constantly upgrading high-tech and media-based entertainments and activities that will no doubt swamp the school holidays shortly, SPLAT! is a beautifully crafted 50-minute alternative to submerge yourselves in. Fun for all ages but perfect for the younger crowds in particular this is a show unlike any other you are likely to encounter.