Words: Elodie Marriott
It’s Bill’s 44th birthday and no one has showed up to his party. Forced to make his own fun with balloons and carrot sticks with Sharpied faces, his night goes in unexpected and mystic directions.
With a flourish of the hand or a gleeful kick, Bill expresses a variety of emotions in such a specific way, that it’s easy to forget that he’s actually a puppet. Mainly controlled by two people, with their arms threaded through his sleeves, the show is wonderfully choreographed and the cast work harmoniously to achieve fluid movements that are distinctly human.
The show explores how birthdays become more disappointing as you age, serving as a reminder of the unstoppable passage of time, rather than being a cause for celebration. Sound is used sparingly, apart from a few gasps, Bill doesn’t speak at all, allowing his physicality to do the talking. This is incredibly effective, especially when Bill is being stalked by his miniature, its tapping footsteps scuttling around his flat, turning the magical elements more nightmarish.
Bill is a charming and sweet character who is lonely, doubtful, and imaginative, embodying every ounce of humanness that is reflected back at him.
Underbelly Cowgate, Belly Button