Threads, Traverse Theatre, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Theatre Incline
Jose Babin (director), Leigh Gillam (puppet making and costume design), Alain Lavallee (lighting design), Thierry Calatayud (sound), Guido Del Fabbro (original music)
Jose Babin, Nadine Walsh, Guido Del Fabbro (musician), Kathleen Fee / Susan Glover (voices)
Running time

Theatre Incline of Quebec brought ‘Threads’ to this year’s Manipulate Festival, describing it as ‘a mythological tale that is on the side of life’, which it certainly is.

The mythology of ‘Threads’, however, is a melange of themes drawn from (one assumes) a variety of source material and the creators own attitudes and experiences, although it proves to be none the worse for that.

Clearly both feminist and environmentalist in sympathy, ‘Threads’ reveals its purpose through the fate of its principal protagonist, an elemental mountain spirit ravaged and ravished by a destructive ogre, the progeny of their union becoming in time and through the healing power of maternal love, the force that overcomes destruction and restores the balance of nature.

Thus reduced, ‘Threads’ might appear to simply have its heart in the right place, but this is a production that utilises puppetry, physical theatre, some highly effective lighting and design, together with atmospheric but rarely intrusive musical accompaniment to achieve its remarkable effects.

Performers and manipulators Jose Babin and Nadine Walsh are excellent in all respects and Guido del Fabbro provides an accompaniment to the action that is reminiscent of eastern European folk music yet transcends into the almost universal in its themes.

This is very clearly a thought through production, purposive yet highly engaging, offering a clear and positive interpretation of themes that continue to engage us all.

The three star rating of ‘Threads’ given here may therefore well say more about this reviewer than it does about this inventive and purposeful production.