I was profoundly moved by the puppetry company ‘Little Cauliflower’ and their performance of ‘Street Dreams‘ at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011. I can’t recommend it highly enough. ‘Street Dreams’ is a about an old man (a puppet) who lives on a rubbish dump, using the material around him to survive. He is tormented by banana skins (on sticks operated by humans) who randomly fly around him. There are no words during the performance, just live music played by the same people who operate the puppets. At one point, the old man decides to leave the rubbish and go in search of green pasture. He uses his umbrella as a boat (and as a flying machine like Mary Poppins) to move himself on. However, the grass is not always greener on the other side and he soon misses the buzz of the rubbish dump and his beloved banana skins.
The audience see every thought and emotion of the old man in his face – he is the only human puppet in it but he is everyman. It is a play about old age, being alone and working out what it all means. It is totally beautiful and enchanting…by saying nothing, it says everything.