The House

Feb 5 2024 | By More

★★★★☆    Darkly comical

Manipulate Festival 2024
Traverse: Fri 2 – Sat 3 Feb
Review by Allan Wilson

Danish director and puppeteer Sofie Krog introduces The House by reminding the audience that “walls have ears” and that the darkly comical tale will be told by the walls of the Warehouse Family Funeral Home.

The Home, which takes up a good part of the Traverse 2 Stage as part of Manipulate Festival 2024, resembles a giant, colourful dolls’ house, but its state of dilapidation and a smoking crematorium chimney give sinister hints of the drama to come.

The House by Sofie Krog Teater, at Manipulate Festival 2024. Pic: Sofie Krog Teater.

Through an upstairs window Mrs Esperanza, the elderly owner, can be seen with her faithful companion, The Dog. Downstairs, Esperanza’s useless nephew, Henry, is bickering with his wife Flora, who only married him in the hope of inheriting the business.

Mrs Esperanza summons her lawyer to change her will in favour of her long-lost sons, but their discussions are overheard by Flora who decides to intervene. Meanwhile, two shady characters are outside the house, planning a burglary.

How are these plot threads ultimately resolved? With great skill by Krog and her collaborator and fellow-puppeteer, David Faraco, in a plot involving a heroic dog, a mad axeman and possession by spirits that has echoes of the 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series, Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

flawless demonstration

Krog and Faraco provide a flawless demonstration of their craft, manipulating and giving voice to seven very different puppets. One early scene in which a character struggles to maintain his balance while holding a coffin in his arms is particularly inspired. They also make great use of a rotating set as the main focus of the action switches back and forth between external and internal views of the house.

Cuco Pérez’s jazzy, easy-listening, instrumental soundtrack, interspersed with the more ominous tolling of bells when the tension mounts helps to build the atmosphere.

The House is a hilariously spooky thriller that will appeal to adults and older children who enjoy mysteries and appreciate the use of puppets.

Running Time: 50 minutes (no interval)
Traverse, 10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED.
Fri 2/Sat 3 Feb 2024
Fri: 6pm; Sat: 1pm (Trav 2).
Run ended.
Sofie Krog Teatre:

The House has echoes of Scooby Doo. Pic: Sofie Krog Teater


Manipulate Festival 2024, Review, Allan Wilson, Sofie Krog, Traverse, David Faraco, Cuco Pérez, The House,

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