Sleeping Beauty: A Puppet Ballet

An efficiently-told 57-minute version of the Tchaikovsky ballet, executed with a sort of “street puppetry” aesthetic in the confines of Flashpoint’s Mead Theatre Lab. The puppets Aurora, her suitor Florimund, the king and queen, and the two key fairies of the story are manipulated bunraku-style; the cast of eight doubles as live actors who fill in the roles of courtiers and the like.

If Aurora finds more than one pirouette to be a challenge, she does show remarkable hang time on her jumps. The transformation of the evil fairy Carabosse (she looks like a furry insect) into a dragon is quite fearsome.

The piece makes a good introduction to non-verbal storytelling for younger audiences; there were a few rapt youngsters with us on Saturday afternoon. A comic pair of courtiers break up the action with mischief and remind us that needles of any kind are not permitted in Princess Aurora’s home.

Arrive early to secure a front-row seat for the little ones; sight lines in this tiny black box are a challenge.

  • Sleeping Beauty: A Puppet Ballet, directed by Matt Reckeweg, Pointless Theatre, Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, Washington