THE UNPARALLELED ADVENTURE OF ONE HANS PFAALL
by Edgar Allan Poe
4 Stars ****
Putney Arts Centre To 23 July then on Tour
Ravenna Road, London SW15 6AW to 23 July and then on tour.
Runs 80 mins No interval.
25 September – Guildhall Art Centre, Grantham
7 October -The Poly, 24 Church Street, Falmouth.
14-15 October – Mercury Theatre, Colchester
28 October – The Spring Arts Heritage Centre, Havan023 9247 2700
Review: William Russell 23 July
Magical tale of a man who went to the moon
Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s tale, this production by Fool’s Capo Theatre is a dazzling mixture of mime, words, images and balloons which enchants. Vinicius Carvalho plays Hans, who, to escape his creditors and after discovering a volume of Speculative Astronomy in his local library sets about building a balloon which will take him to the moon.
Carvalho, a shock haired figure, wearing granny specs, sporting racing driver goggles, and enveloped in a trench coat proceeds to take us through the logistics of the adventures, confiding what happened, miming the events on tip toe, seemingly floating through space, falling to the ground, resisting his foes and drawing the audience in to the tale.
Scenes from space are projected on a vast screen behind him, he uses a model of his balloon to show how the journey proceeds, changes into a space suit which looks like something a Victorian diver might wear going to the ocean depths, and reflects on earth and its beauty. It is all quite gloriously bonkers and Carvalho creates a splendid mixture of fantasist, fool and adventurer who, once he gets there, sends a letter back to earth to the town from whence he came about his 19 daytrip into the unknown.
Pfaall’s adventures are backed by a splendid score composed by Alex Paton and at the end, when the earth and the moon float by and globes of all shapes and sizes surround the intrepid explorer it is quite spell binding. What is it all about? Going where no man has gone before in a completely different way. Better than Star Trek too.
Hans Pfaal: Vinicius Carvalho
Actors: Leonardo Pancione & Ronald Lopes.
Direction: Vinicius Carvalho & Ramon Ayres
Music: Alex Paton.
Video Projection: Eloise Carles.
Set & Props: Irina Shengelia & Fool’s Cap Theatre.