Dead Puppet Society's Argus: Theatre Analysis

Great Essays
Dead Puppet Society’s production of Argus utilises post-dramatic theatre techniques as a reinvention of classic story tropes for a 21st century audience. Argus follows the classic tale of a hero’s journey. The story focuses on a creature as he travels the world in search of his lost love. Dead Puppet Society has re-envisioned what puppetry can be, throwing off the shackles of Bunraku and stringed puppets and using hands as a method of creating character. Argus utilises focus, characterisation, music, set, technical elements and post dramatic theatre techniques in an attempt to engage a 21st century audience.
Argus successfully manages different forms of focus. Slippery focus in Argus has been utilised as a method of drawing attention away from
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The live band that accompanies the production helps to set the tone of each scene. Thanks to the excellent score by composer John Babbage, the world of Argus is brought to life. The use of live band allows for a realistic juxtaposition against the false reality presented through the set and character. David Morton, the director and designer of Argus, has created a revolving series of stages that appear to the audience like a small globe. This idea is further suggested through the series of light bulbs that appear like stars in the night sky. These lights surround the stage and enter the audience’s seating. The message this presents to the audience is that this one character is just a small person in a massive world. However true to post-dramatic form, the set empowers the audience to make their own interpretation; the design also bares similarities to an eye. This is especially obvious when the bulb lights are lit as it makes the area around the set flicker and the centre of the stage appears like an iris. This becomes a symbolic for looking out into the future. This bright hopefulness and positivity is also expressed through the puppeteers’ use of small flashlights for the characters eyes. These flashlights express how the characters can only see towards what is in front of them and are unable to shift look away. Through the use of technical elements, Argus …show more content…
Argus understands that in a modern era of YouTube and Vine, audience attention spans are shorter than ever before. Through its creative story and intelligent set design, Argus transforms its scenery after short periods of time to recapture the audience’s attention before it’s lost. Each section becomes its own miniature story which when combined create a longer flowing narrative. Another way in which the performance has tried to engage a 21st century audience is through the redefining of theatre techniques, one such way is the performance as a shared experience between audience and the performers. Whilst most of the performance is set in the spherical set, the lights symbolic of the stars reach out into the audience and bring the audience into the world of the performance. The use of the bubble machine during the underwater scene also draws the audience into the world of Argus however this distracts from the performance and causes split focus. The productions creative re-invention of puppetry helps to keep the audience entertained and the removal of dialogue engages audiences by forcing them to stay focused on the story as it progresses. The production of Argus is one that audiences of all ages can enjoy. To children the story is that of a fairy tale; however for the more mature audiences the production illustrates the concept of growth and transformation. The story

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