Mexican Day of the Dead is a time for celebration, but our
young protagonist is in no mood to party. Gabriel lost his parents when he was
a baby and can’t understand the revelry going on around him, so lost is he in
his grief. Using Mexican calavera puppets, shadow play and
physical theatre, Gomito Productions explore the relationship between
bereavement and memory, sadness and joy.
Day of the Dead, with its skulls, skeletons, brightly
coloured flowers and dressing up, is a wonderfully evocative topic for a piece
of puppet theatre and the company succeed in creating an atmosphere appropriate
to the festival, by turns dark and light.
Much of the dialogue is overplayed and the extended episodes
of movement add little to the narrative, but the company’s work with the skeleton-figured
calavera puppets is charming. This, along with a tenderly performed final scene - the best of the show's live action - shows traces of the clever storytelling that Gomito has impressed with in the past. If only there were more of it.