The Grimstones - Hatched
By Susan Bennett
‘The Grimstones – Hatched’ celebrates the wonder of books, the acceptance of difference, family love and the simple pleasures of life. It tells the story of Velvetta Grimstone who spends her days crumpled over her deceased husband’s grave. Her grief over her loss and her dreams to have more children have seeped into the life of her daughter Martha who makes a spell to mend her mother’s broken heart.
As the delicate tracery of puppet strings flashed and gleamed, artfully manipulated by the two puppeteers, Gertrude Grimstone (Asphyxia) and her assistant August (Paula Dowse), I marvelled at how they avoided crossed wires in handing one frame of strings to the other.
As they glided between sets and narratives, I realised this was a performance of duality. From the presenters who were puppeteers, narrators, signers and stage managers and moved seamlessly from role to role, to the holding of your own credulity between imagination and reality.
The children loved it, craning their necks and standing up to see the little puppets as they wobbled their way through the tale. You could feel the empathy as everyone strained closer and closer to the stage. Together we were held in the fragility of fantasy by the mastery of the performance.