Puppeteer Adam Proulx brings a different kind of one-man show to the Vancouver Fringe Festival with Baker’s Dozen: 12 Angry Puppets.
On second thought, perhaps it a 12-person show as Proulx transforms a single periwinkle puppet into twelve distinct characters in its exploration of homophobia, the justice system, and privilege.
The premise is simple enough, a jury is deliberating the fate of the Butcher who is accused of murdering the Baker. And yes, if you haven’t already figured it out, the Candlestick Maker plays a role her too, casting just enough doubt on the Butcher’s guilt.
As the 60 minute show plays out, Proulx transforms his single blank periwinkle (his colour description, not mine) puppet into twelve unique jury members. There are many stereotypes in the assembled jury, but Proulx’s skill here is not only in his sometimes amazing manipulation of the puppet, but in ensuring the stereotypes are given just enough of a clever tweak to keep the show interesting.
We are witness to the transformation of the different puppets as Proulx replaces eyes, ears, wigs, and other parts to transform it into the next jury member. Perhaps it was the too low lighting that made it difficult to fully see, but the show lacked momentum each time we waited for the next character to arrive.
A small price to pay though for a show that is both witty and insightful as Baker’s Dozen. Proulx is a skilled puppeteer with a few surprises up his sleeve, and a script that brings his puppet’s stereotypes into laser focus.
Baker’s Dozen: 12 Angry Puppets plays as part of the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival until September 19 at the Revue Stage (1601 Johnston St, Granville Island). Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.