Half a String's A Heart at Sea - A Pupil Review
Monday 15 Oct 2018
This was a sweet yet emotional story with a strong moral that you should never give up hope. Throughout the piece there was a clear use of imagery, from the personified puppets, which made the audience feel a real sense of empathy (particularly towards the whale), to the clever use of the set – a simple wooden box – which took us on a journey with these loveable characters. The performance showed the comedy, sadness and relief of friendship.
The opening moments of the performance featured a sung narration, accompanied by guitar. In fact, the whole story was told through emotive music, which was effective because it not only reminded the audience of the play’s folk lore origins, but also supported the slow exaggerated movements of the performers. Audience participation on loops was also included, which was entertaining and made the performance enjoyable for all ages as it created a feeling that we were part of the show. Certain melodies were repeated in order to reflect on and link back to earlier scenes, and extended periods of silence were used to build tension and suspense. This was mirrored by the lighting, which would regular alternate between warm and cold washes to illustrate the change in the characters’ surroundings.
The use of puppets was interesting because, even though I originally thought I might not be able to connect with the characters, I found myself moved by the tale. Smaller puppets were used at first, which engaged the audience as it forced us to focus on detail and reeled us in. This then help to denote shifts in time and mood when a larger puppet was introduced.
I have learnt that, even without facial expression, you can show emotion very powerfully, through movement, narration, and music. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, as it was thought-provoking and complex in many ways.
Martha Richmond - Y10, Carr