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Long Fringe Review: 'The Crapstall Street Boys'

A dark, sad tale and a new direction for Trouble Puppet

By Elizabeth Cobbe, 3:45PM, Thu. Jan. 26, 2012

Don't go into the factory, boys!
Don't go into the factory, boys!

Here’s a Long Fringe show that comes in two parts: first, a mini-circus, and next, a puppet play.

Circus Chickendog gave about 15 minutes of lovely, innocent circus entertainment; what it lacks in expensive three-ring pizzazz, it makes up for in simple fun.

Then Trouble Puppet Theatre Company presents its newest creation, a dark and sad story about a lonely boy who believes his name is “You-lad,” for want of being called anything else. You-lad’s parents sell him to a factory so they can get money to buy protection from the monsters roaming their town. Once in the factory, You-lad discovers the sad secret behind the monster invasion.

Steve Moore narrates the story, and one of the puppeteers carries a camera amidst the action. An upstage screen shows what the camera sees, providing a different and more intimate view of the story. The technology isn’t quite there yet &ndash the feed was inconsistent &ndash but the concept is interesting. As a finished show, it’s a little rough, but taken as a workshop production, Crapstall Street Boys is fascinating and worth seeing as an exploration of a new direction in the company’s work. One of Trouble Puppet’s strengths is harnessing good talent and seeing where it can take them. Crapstall Street Boys fortunately follows this trend.

Remaining performances: Saturday, Jan. 28, 11pm; Sunday, Jan. 29, 3:15pm; and Saturday, Feb, 4, 6:45pm, at Salvage Vanguard Theatre, 2803 Manor Rd. Running Time: 45 min. For more information, visit www.hydeparktheatre.org.

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