Festival Theatre


Church Hill


Neil Cooper

Five Stars

The wind blows hot and cold in the assorted worlds brought to life in this ingenious 75-minute comic meditation on the climate crisis, presented in a collaboration between award-winning Belgian mime and puppetry companies, Focus and Chaliwaté.

As white clad human figures pop up aloft a similarly pristine terrain, they don’t so much inhabit as become the picture postcard landscape, with miniature houses and forests embedded in upturned boots that become mountains seen from a distance.

A TV crew drive through hazardous conditions in an epic display of car seat choreography set to a Paul Simon soundtrack, only to fall prey to the elements twice over.

A beautifully realised puppet polar bear and its cub come blinking into the light, only for the icebergs they are settled on to split.

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Meanwhile, in a more domestic interior, the walls may not quite be sweating, but when the furniture starts to melt and a hurricane makes Sunday lunch an absurdity, you can probably guess which way the wind is blowing.

Written, directed and performed by Julie Tenret, Sicaire Durieux and Sandrine Heyraud, aided enchantingly by puppeteers Joachim Jannin and Jean-Raymond Brassinne, Dimanche is a delightful concoction of serious fun that manages to create something vital as well as witty.

It may have been made for nine-year-olds and up, but Dimanche’s increasingly dark depiction of a now everyday global crisis is something so-called grown-ups should take a long hard look at.

The play’s title, it should be noted, is French for Sunday. This implies a day of rest, or some kind of calm before the storm of the apocalypse. When the only arks available to avoid the flood come in helicopter and four-wheel drive shaped gas-guzzlers tearing up land and sea and air, in the eye of this particular storm, the weather is only going to get worse.