Review of The Table, part of the Ringling International Arts Festival “Moses on The Table, You Just Had to Laugh”

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“Moses on The Table, You Just Had to Laugh.”

By Kenney DeCamp

The stage was dark except for a blond wood typical table, appearing to be 6′ x 4′ standing in the middle, upstage of the Asolo’s Cook Theater for the Ringling International Arts Festival. Watching the sterile stage, out walked three people, two men and a woman, all dressed in solid black with the tallest man holding ‘The Puppet.’ These were the three performing members of the Blind Summit Theatre from London, England.

The puppet appeared to be approximately 2 1/2 feet high with a large cardboard sculptured head in the appearance of a gruff looking old man. No clothes on the puppet, just the stuffed stocking look of a doll not dressed. The tall man, and leader of the group, Mark Down, stated the puppet was of a Japanese Bunraku form, and all this lifeless character was wearing was a pair of black shoes. The uniqueness of movement, and the coming to life of this puppet was controlled by Mark, manipulating the head with a rear handle and moving the left hand.  On the other side of this awakening being was Sean Garratt, who moved the right-hand and pinched a spot in the lower back for pelvic movements, while Laura Caldow bending way down low to manage, dance and slide his feet to the story unfolding. Voiced by Mark, he told us that this fellow lived on, around, and under the table as we watched the ‘Individual’ move about The Table.  Then it was explained, he was going to help us understand Extreme Biblical Puppetry, informing us his name was Moses. Moses explained that the concept of a true puppet show is based on focus. And I must admit, the people disappeared; we became mesmerized on the antics and storyline totally focused on Moses.

He flirted with a woman in the audience and brought her up on stage where she ‘accidently’ pulled off the Hand of Moses. And then one of the most comical scenes eclipsed into outrageous laughter from the entire audience. He explained that Moses had lead the Israelites out of Egypt and had a revealing conversation with God. God revealed that Moses had only 12 hours to live and that God would bury him somewhere so no one would find his body. God did not want Moses to be worshiped by the people.

I found it truly interesting when Mark explained we should all be aware that Moses is in the Jewish and Christian Bibles, as well as found in the Muslim Quran. This is a show that one will never forget: enlightening, thought provoking, enjoyable and full of laughter. The Table presented Moses as the only non-breathing stand-up comedian I ever had a belly laugh with!



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