Home page > Event reviews > Fête dans la Ville 2012 > Imaginary friends/Whalley range all stars, Babok

Imaginary friends/Whalley range all stars, Babok

Join the dance

Monday 9 July 2012 , by Joël Verhoustraeten , Stéphanie Bescond (Translation  Cécile Babin)

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Whalley range all stars and Babok plunged the audience into a poetic and unpredictable journey. A perpetually-moving show.

On the sidewalk, ten wooden boxes lined up like dominoes. Rare are the ones who pay attention until that from the corner appears a weird band. The safes are violently pulled to the middle of street; the wooden doors slam; actors start singing a primitive song, both melodic and captivating. From the bottom of these strange coffins, they exhume ten human scale puppets to revive them slowly. A poetic walkabout begins.

Street furniture - bench, windowsill, flower pot and even trash – are used as a pretext for the strangest poses and figures. The audience also joins this strange dance, often uncomfortable with this sudden intimacy with the puppets’ lifeless faces. Regularly, songs, beautifully sung by the actors, punctuate the walk.

One can not help but look for the meaning of this trip. Everyone tries to get his explanation, his logic, interpreting gestures and onomatopoeia. When they eventually find it, the explanation collapses as the show never stops moving.

All let themselves be carried away by the poetry of the moment, following the articulated round: “If some ’pictures’ of the show are fixed, others are improvised depending on where we stand and audience’s reactions. You never know what will happen. We act instinctively, like a football team, where everyone knows each other, his reactions, his playing”, says one of the actors from Whalley Range All Stars , the British company, who created the show Imaginary Friends together with its Dutch counterpart, Babok. “Sometimes we treat the puppets as puppets almost alive, sometimes as simple objects, like during the picnic scene where they are simply used boxes".

The box over and over again... A metaphor for our destiny, in short.

Photos : Joël Verhoustraeten

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