Note: This review is from the 2016 Fringe

A true story of the theatre, Teatro Delusio uses no words to tell its tale yet weaves magic from beginning to end.

The show opens with a ghostly-looking puppet floating across the stage with an air of mystery. Following this eerie introduction, the three performers of Familie Flöz change into masks of their own and allow the audience a peek backstage by telling a story of the stagehands behind the curtain.

Considering the masks cannot physically change expression, it is amazing how much meaning the actors can project just from their body language, hand gestures and subtle looks to the audience and the music does much to add to the story, creating dramatic elevations, moments of poignancy, outbursts of laughter and periods of mystique.

While the stagehands go about their daily duties, an array of characters enter their unseen domain to prepare for the show: opera singers, directors, a corps of ballerinas and the orchestra. Their interaction with the stagehands tells a story in itself of what goes on behind the curtain and each character is fighting his own battle – one is in love with an opera star, one is desperate for his moment to shine and one just isn’t very good at his job.

Familie Flöz is a touring company based in Berlin who have been performing their shows around the world since 1996. It is easy to see their appeal – their shows are family-friendly and are so enthralling that you lose track of time watching the action unfold, enraptured by the stories of these masked characters and amazed that just three men are playing every single one.

The story does get a little odd by the end, with the viewer invited to surmise their own conclusions to the plot; but as a unique piece of theatre, it is close to perfect.