Belfast Telegraph

Bláth: Children's tale comes to life as puppets blossom

By Andrew Johnston

Post-Spinal Tap, puppet shows tend to get a bad rap, but that didn't stop Branar's Bláth, or 'Flower', from blooming yesterday at the Mac.

Based on the popular children's book, we were transported to a cityscape where all floral life has been edged out by buildings. Largely wordless, the tale was told through the skills of two puppeteers, who operated stylised figures amid Maeve Clancy's imposing stage set. If the evocative design work weren't enough, there was also an inspired musical score by Colm Mac Con Iomaire of the Frames to enjoy.

Sadly, the show seemed to go over the heads of some younger audience members, who grew restless as the action slowly unfolded. Still, there was much for adults and older children to revel in, not least the undeniable atmosphere the Branar team had managed to conjure using just paper and a few lights.

At 45 minutes long, Bláth was perfectly paced and got its message across in nicely understated fashion.

Three stars

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