Montreal’s award-winning Théâtre de la Pire Espèce takes up residence this month at North Vancouver’s Presentation House Theatre with a trio of tabletop puppetry shows about family.
A deceptively simple form of theatre, tabletop puppetry uses everyday objects – like a toy truck, a bottle, or a baguette – to illustrate a story told by 1-2 performers, blending oral tradition and physical performance.
Exploring the intersection between puppetry, clowning, cabaret and street theatre for almost 20 years, Théâtre de la Pire Espèce co-founders Francis Montey and Olivier Ducas bring three of their biggest hits to Presentation House in March.
These short-form shows of one hour or less tackle topics of family, war and imagined histories where everyday objects are transformed in unexpected ways.
First up is Carbon Copy Kid (Mar 14 & 15). For ages 12+, it is a dark and dirty tale about a mythical, larger-than-life Quebecois family of 57 children, where Terryy seems to be the only rational one. Fed up with his ridiculous circumstances, Terryy seeks an all-powerful reason behind his family’s woes, even if he has to invent a story to explain it all.
Then, in a mythical America, Jimmy Jones reveals the stories and disappointments of his father in the middle of cornfields and legends in The Ballad of Jimmy Jones and His Heavenly Truck (March 18 & 19) for audiences 12+.
Finally, Ubu on the Table (Mar 25 & 26) is a hilarious adaptation of Jarry’s bizarre Macbeth parody King Ubu. Anything goes in this farcical tabletop puppet show for ages 14+, which features two armies of French baguettes facing off as tomato bombs explode, an egg beater hovers over fleeing troops and molasses-blood splatters on fork soldiers as they charge Père Ubu.
In its ongoing commitment to creating accessible theatre, Presentation House Theatre continues with its “choose your price” ticketing option.
For more information and tickets for all three shows, visit phtheatre.org.