Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, until Sun 30 Aug @ 17:00

Citizen Puppet is set in Massiveville. According to its inhabitants it is a small town and judging by it’s title all is not what is seems in this place. For starters it is populated with puppets and secondly a crime has been committed and that sort of thing doesn’t happen in Massiveville. This crime is on a giant scale, quite literally. The townsfolk get disturbed by a loud noise an actual giant has crash landed in the town centre. His presence is soon followed by that of a beanstalk. The events follow a popular fairytale but all this just seems to be a coincidence while the puppets look for the answers behind this intriguing mystery.

Citizen Puppet is a comedy where the puppets are a only couple of feet tall. They sit on high chairs that the puppeteers swiftly move around the stage. The story itself takes on the form of a crime drama where the inhabitants of Massiveville try to understand the unfortunate series of events. The puppets do not display a great deal of dexterity and only their mouths move. Each puppet does however have a unique and purposeful personality. These personalities bring out the comedy, as we are witness to a social worker, the local police officer, the resident priest and the typical nosy townsfolk. They are enjoyable bunch to be around and call to mind the supporting cast in the Wallace and Gromit movie The Curse of The Were Rabbit.

Citizen Puppet is a funny performance and presented like a documentary, with each puppet taking centre stage in turns to tell the story from their own perspective. This works well, however an ambiguous ending feels unsatisfactory despite the laughs and engaging puppetry on display.