Firstly, a crop of white tents has mushroomed out of the stony ground: a fair with local food and craft stalls, hay bale to sit on and booths including Mrs Pendriggy's cod-miraculous remedies (concocted by Hayle school children). Beyond this is a large sandy circle surrounded by huts on stilts, cobbled together from higgledy-piggledy jetsam, rubber tyres, fishing nets and spindly ladders. Here the play proper begins, adapted by director Bill Mitchell from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's tale about simple backwater folk.
The actors are a buoyant international troupe (the show having also played in Malta and Cyprus), speaking a kind of comical Esperanto ("homo sapiens, flappy wangs" "tutti populi totally at a lost"). The storytelling doesn't always run smooth. There are slack patches and the conclusion is decidedly bleak. But the evening as a whole is charming.
A live jazzy folk band and mournful choral singing are beautifully interwoven, and the mix of art and industrial equipment is delightful. A battered pick-up truck rolls up with a shadow-puppet theatre on board and, bidding goodbye, a silent angel swoops over the crowd, swinging from a high crane with his ragged white wings steaming in the wind against the jet-black sky.
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