Puppet show for adults – ‘Papa’s Time Machine’ makes Beijing debut

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/24 18:43:39

Papa's Time Machine, the steampunk-style puppet show that grabbed attention at 2016's China Shanghai International Arts Festival, made its Beijing debut on Sunday as part of the 17th Meet in Beijing Art Festival.

Though Ma Liang, the show's director and puppet designer, considers the show "more of a story written for adults," Papa's Time Machine attracted a large number of children accompanied by their parents to the Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center on Sunday.

Featuring handmade life-sized mechanic puppets and intricate stage decorations, the play follows a man named Ma Guji who builds a time machine to help his father, who suffers from Alzheimer's, to retrieve his lost memories.

Ma, however, may be right to say the show isn't really meant for children.

"The play was very fancy, but to be honest, I didn't quite understand the story," a 10-year-old audience member surnamed Fang told the Global Times after the show.

The reaction among adults was quiet different.

"I think the show was wonderful and very relevant," Zhang Lin, 25, said.

"After watching the story between Ma Guji and his dad, I really think we should spend more time with our parents as they get older."

According to Ma Liang, who appeared on stage after the play ended to explain to the audience how the show was made, controlling the complicated mechanical puppets used in the play requires great skill. He revealed that the puppeteer for the giant mechanical fish that appears in the play is a practitioner of Wing Chun, a Chinese martial arts school.

The largest and most complicated piece of set dressing is the play's "time machine," which wowed audiences when it was "switched on."

Coming in at three meters tall, the prop consists of numerous gears and wheels and makes use of a number of video screens and colored smoke to depict the transition through time and space.



Posted in: THEATER

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