Once upon a time I went to two shows and they were called Ondin and The Secret Life of Suitcases. Ondin was created by L'Illusion, Théâtre de marionnettes in Canada and The Secret Life of Suitcases was co-created by Ailie Cohen Puppet Maker and Lewis Heatherington in Scotland. They were part of the Stages, Sights & Sounds International Performance Festival for Young Audiences, which is a bunch of plays and workshops that are happening in May. I thought that these were both very great performances. I was captivated in both of them and found them both very interesting. I was sad that I couldn't see the American Revolution from Theater Unspeakable again, but you can read my review from last year here.
Ondin was about this boy whose legs turned into a fish tail when he fell into the water. Then he met this girl named Melusine who had loved by the water for many years. I thought it was cool that they changed Ondine to Ondin, so that you knew even boys could be mer-people. They (Sabrina Baran, Gabrielle Garant, and Maryse Poulin) tell the story with puppets and music. I really liked at the beginning how there was a dress that turned into the sea. It started moving and moved up and just stayed there and she stepped out of it. I loved the sting ray puppet. I thought it was so awesome and beautiful. And Ondin had a fish who became his friend over the course of the show. It kind of reminded me of the Ariel story, only I think this was better. You knew they were becoming friends because he eventually got to pet the fish and it followed him around. There was a lot of very cool music in this and they also made some instruments part of the show. There was a rain-making disc that made the sound of the ocean but was also used as a raft and then the moon. It is about children's friendship and finding your right place in the world.
People who would like these shows are people who like mer-people, walking suitcases, and eating spaghetti on the beach. I know these shows tour, so if you live anywhere near where they are going, go see them! They are both awesome!
Photos: Michel Pinault and Anne Binckebanck