by Hana Kamionkova, IYAF Press Team One of the shows performed in the laid back facilities of the Ram Jam Club was the Black Hoods project. Developed by the Knuckle and Joint Theatre Company, the artists’ duo, Rebecca O’Brien and Peter Morton, talented University of Kent graduates, presented their puppetry show. Originally a 10 minute show, developed shortly before the festival started, it is now a near-hour long performance, which only proved the group’s quality.

This was confirmed at the very beginning when energetic entry accompanied by lively music opened the evening. Although the possibility of explaining the content with spoken word was limited, as the show was expressed mainly through puppets, it did not lessen the attractiveness - actually quite the opposite. Every act told a different story pointing out to a different problem. The show’s dynamic also supported interactive approach dragging some of the visitors literally into the performance, as they were asked to assist the actors.

The show’s direction allowed some life topics and societal issues to be opened, considered and presented. Even though these usually fell into the ‘serious’ categories - being it inadequate eating habits, selfishness or drug usage, the actors smartly presented them in an amusing and engaging way using sarcasm, irony and symbols. It therefore gently kept and pushed audience’s attention despite the hot and humid weather.

As it may not be anticipated from a puppetry show since this is usually linked to a children’s audience, what Black Hoods was able to do with a few pieces of old carton, foam and sheets, is fascinating and makes their piece unique and worth to be seen. Link to the original website: Based on information supplied by IYAF Press Team.