This show last night was a real treat. Performer Neville Tranter worked a total of seven puppets who represented Adolf Hitler's last companions in the bunker in the last few days just before he gave up and committed suicide.
The play opens with the large puppets shrouded in muslin, and a conversation between Neville and the puppet that is about to (reluctantly) play Schicklgruber (Hitler). When his moustache is finally attached, the role begins.
The puppets, Hitler, Eva Braun, Goering, Goebbels and his 6 children plus Hitler's dog Blondi were large, and beautifully made, with the most amazing faces, brought to life by their glittering and intense eyes.
The huge and piglike Goering was over 7ft tall and rolled around the stage on casters - revealing the jealously and rivalry between him and the weasly Goebbels.
Eva Braun, keeping a façade of glamour was desperate for love, for fun, for a life outside the bunker. She clamoured for attention from her tired and depressed lover, Hitler, and from Goebbels who she tried to persuade to be a playmate.
As the war raged around them, and the enemy troops edged closer, the emotions of fear, betrayal and failing love in the face of despair were gripping and palpable.
Neville Tranter was a character himself, Herr Linder, the person that everyone depended on without realising how much he was holding them all together, and especially the young Helmut, Goebbels' son who was confused and distressed by the breakdown of the adults around him.
Death, in the form of a comical, bright yellow Grim Reaper, danced around them appearing with grotesque but relentless humour as he took them one by one.
An epic 90 minutes show, the time went quickly, and playing to a full house, demonstrated admirably that puppetry is a powerful medium for telling stories to adults. There's more for adults this weekend at Norwich Puppet Theatre #manipulate Visual Theatre Festival – animated film as well as puppets www.puppettheatre.co.uk