Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Haste Theatre from London invited the Orlando Fringe audiences to their darkly comic world where everything may not be as sweet as it seems. The show, Oyster Boy, is based on a story idea from Tim Burton while taking liberties. It followed the tale of Jim and Alice as their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of their first son, born with an oyster for a head. The production mixed puppetry, clowning, and a very naughty barbershop quartet.
Jim was Italian and Alice was an American Tourist. They fell in love at first sight and Jim's Italian and broken English instants wins Alice's heart. The seaside romance was accompanied by the romance of breaking waves recreated simply with a blue sheet. Their son's huge oyster shell head offended everyone but the adoring parents. The one thing oyster boy was good at was swimming. Two little girls befriended him and went for a swim, but when the girl's parents found out, they were forbidden to ever see the boy again.
This was a light hearted production that harkened back to silent film acting. It used a very simple puppet to bring oyster boy to life. The entire cast were women, even the pot bellied Italian husband. This was used to comic effect as they played male characters using pasted on handlebar mustaches that often fell off. The tale doesn't end happily for Oyster Boy, but love prevails.