Scatter of Opinion

Soil Mates

Blood & Bone
Cicada Studios
@Vault Festival


Expectations: 2/5
Reality Rating: 4/5
Fidget Factor: 0.2

Filthy Soil Mates

In the style of a children’s puppet show, Blood and Bone is lightly peppered with political satire and heavily drenched in sexual filth. Never has the saying don’t judge a book by its cover, or title in this case, been so true. Expecting a play with people and darkness at its core, the selection of friendly, funny budding puppets were a delightful surprise. Bursting with imagination, Cicada Studios have created a hilarious, vibrant production.

Kicked off my a bunch of welsh flowers, we embark on the storytelling of a young Ash and his search for his ‘soil mate’. Duped by a prickly, up to no good Rose and sexual encounters with randy Fungi, Ash soon realises that there is more to life than the safe and cosy four walls of the green house. In an attempt to save his friends from Billy the mulcher, Ash ends up losing the most important thing of all.

B&B1Oliver Smart’s puppet design uses bright block colours and shapes which can easily be recognised as certain character traits. Clover holds bounds of facial expression and can easily be identified as a kind, sweet plant. Ash has been formed with a dumb expression, his large eyes lending themselves to the shocking revelations he stumbles upon throughout the play. Each of the actors/puppeteers behind the puppets are superb. Liam Steward George is particularly animated as the voice of Ash and Daffs, watching him is just as entertaining as the puppets themselves. Miles Sloman oozes comical genius, with witty one liners and impeccable timing. Ella Cook shows off multiple skills during this production, song and rap, and a classic puppeting voice for Clover.

Rapping and old school dance moves are thrown into the mix, this is truly one of those plays where you can’t predict what’s coming next. At points this production is wonderfully cringe worthy; the creatives behind Blood and Bone have thrown caution to the wind and all of their experiments land successfully with the audience. The performance holds an abundant amount of gardening gags, ‘Take me up the gravel path’, and each section of writing has considered the obvious alongside the absurd.

This theatre group working on a budget works in it’s favour. Using spray bottles of water to create atmosphere and mist or subtly suggesting a scene change by shouting out ‘Now in the front Garden’. all adds to the silly, lighthearted humour of the piece. The little set this company have built is vivid and playful.

The political satire can be found with gentle hints such as the upper class green house, into the working class of the front garden. Immigrants are brought in from the garden centre, and received with different levels of kindness. A more obvious comment on current events, is the introduction of Donald J Stump, a puppet which holds familiar features to a certain president.

Get down and dirty with Cicada Studio’s brilliant production of Blood & Bone at the Vault Festival this week.

Click for Tix: @Vault Festival

Time: 60 Minutes
Running:  15 FEB 17 ► 19 FEB 17

♥ Thank you to Heather Ralph for the invite
♥ Thank you to Greg for a dashing illustration of Ash

Blood and Bone

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