A nuanced, delicately moving piece of storytelling features in this delightful production that will appeal to people of all age groups – particularly if they are dog owners! Ingo’s War is the tale of a little dog that struggles to discover his courage as he finds himself having to journey from one owner to the next during the backdrop of WWII.
Ingo is brought to life with wonderful puppetry by Ditto Theatre Company. They are a young, new company who have clearly put a lot of work into the development of this mini epic piece of theatre. The entire performance is effortlessly polished and it is fascinating watching how coordinated the ensemble is with each other. The group never seem to leave the stage for any length of time and each member creates a raft of different characters who come into Ingo’s life. Meanwhile they each take turns at bringing the wonderful dog puppet to life. Ingo himself is a beautifully stylized puppet, it looks simple but the dynamic puppetry skills by the theatre group bring the dog to life and it feels straight from the off that we are watching a real dog. A creative use of the simple set also widens the horizon of the story. One chase sequence using an inventive use of crates as Ingo and a young French girl are on the run is likely to be one of the most exciting scenes you’ll experience at the festival this year.
As the story is set within WWII, not all the chapters within Ingo’s life end so happily and there may be a few upsetting moments for the very young audience member. However, nothing is ever gratuitous and the talented use of movement and physical theatre bring to life a devastating, heart-breaking yet ultimately joyful story of a little, unforgettable canine hero.