• The Harbinger.....after the show

    The Harbinger.....after the show

  • Caroline Stacey, Shane Breynard and George Breynard

    Caroline Stacey, Shane Breynard and George Breynard

  • Hannah Ramsay, Jade Ramsay and Ellen Breynard

    Hannah Ramsay, Jade Ramsay and Ellen Breynard

  • Deborah Kingsland and Kathryn Kelly

    Deborah Kingsland and Kathryn Kelly

  • Allison Shannon and Kathleen Shannon

    Allison Shannon and Kathleen Shannon

  • Arvy Asome, Dora Nikolaou and Anna Loizou

    Arvy Asome, Dora Nikolaou and Anna Loizou

  • Hugh Taupin, Marina Roseby and Mia Fazzolare

    Hugh Taupin, Marina Roseby and Mia Fazzolare

  • Bronwen Meek and Clare Scott

    Bronwen Meek and Clare Scott

  • Sally Pritchard, Pru Pritchard, Geeta Sharma, Cailtin McEwen and Karla Conway

    Sally Pritchard, Pru Pritchard, Geeta Sharma, Cailtin McEwen and Karla Conway

The Harbinger at The Street Theatre

1 October 2014

The Harbinger at The Street Theatre is one of those magical theatre moments that defy generalization. It is puppetry in many forms, live theatre and some whizz bang technical stuff that brings a very large puppet to life in a wheel chair of mammoth proportions.

Puppetry in my primary school days was a case of creating a head with plasticine, papier mache and extravagant childish imaginings that were later painted, dressed and used in performances. And this ‘Harbinger’ was hauntingly like one of my creations on a scale we thankfully didn’t use. But like the harbingers of everything this old man tells a sad story about a past life of love and joy that his memory plays out in a dusty old bookshop as the world he knew disintegrates around him. There had to be a happy side, there has to be a sign; and it comes blasting into his bookshop in the form of a street urchin.

The Harbinger is operated by a formidable troupe of women wearing the black of puppeteers and make-up of the deadpan and despite having to shove hands in the back of his head and try to make his clumpy hands daintier and his formidable pouter pigeon chest look normal there comes the moment when the manipulation and machinations are secondary, the reality and the make- believe are blurred and enchantment takes over.

The Harbinger is the production of the Dead Puppet Society, written and directed by David Morton and Matthew Ryan and will only have a short run at The Street Theatre until 4 October, but will stay in your mind’s eye for a very long time.