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Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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It’s discombobulating to find that you're the only one not enjoying a show. Going by the reaction of the rest of audience at Jeff Achtem’s Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones, I should be giving it at least four stars. But I’m afraid I just can’t understand what they all saw in it.

The show’s conceit is that Achtem creates his shadow puppets on stage out of pieces of junk. He’s undoubtedly a talented puppeteer, and his creations are rather ingenious, but after the initial moment of magic that comes with the realisation of his cleverness, the set pieces themselves are a disappointment. And with no narrative to speak of, the non-puppetry moments feel too much like dead time, even taking into account Achtem’s endearing clowning.

All that said, however, the rest of the audience loved it, so maybe you should go.

­­­­– Jo Caird


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