Shadows at play in 2Dee
Suspend your disbelief and cross over into the shadows, is what we’re asked to do in 2Dee. Avril Cummins stitches together a series of short scenes, either with narrated stories or the soundtrack playing, and the action is played out using the ancient form of shadow play.
While Avril twirls a mobile of colourful birds, projecting the flock onto the walls and roof around us, Debussy’s ‘Claire de Lune’ (Light of the Moon) begins to flood over us… signalling to give into a dreamy, whimsical world of fantasia.
2Dee begins with a sentimental story of little ‘waterbugs’ wondering what happens to their friends who ascend the lily pad stalk. This section’s set-up was clever: three light boxes stacked atop each other, separating the underwater, the lily pad, and the open air above. There’s a little wonderment and a little melancholy, and there’s good potential in developing this story into something more substantial.
Several bizarre scenes follow: in one, a monkey rides a cat through the city streets; in another, a couple in bed is driven mad by a mozzie which won’t quit. A dancing guy goes mal to a roaring 20s piano. The ‘stories’ are unrelated so Avril pops out from behind the screens, with friendly chit-chat as she moves to the next scene. With all this action, 2Dee gets pretty busy and I wonder if this isn’t at odds with the inherent simplicity of shadow puppetry. Avril directed herself but perhaps having someone on the other side of the shadows might shed some clarifying crafting light onto the moments which became frantic or blurry or lost.
The improvised audience participation sections do go down a treat – real lols all around. Read more about 2Dee and what else Avril Cummins has on offer here. 2Dee is on tonight 04 July at 10pm and Saturday 06 July at 6pm. Details & bookings: click here.