First-class delivery of double fantasy

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 February, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 February, 1993, 12:00am

The Postman and The Fisherman, by Velo Theatre, Shouson Theatre, HK Arts Centre, January 30-February 1 THE first half of a delightful double bill presented on the opening night of the 1993 HK Arts Festival was The Postman by Velo Theatre. The company, based in France, offers a special and unusual form of theatre.

As the postman delivers his letters and parcels he looks up for the sound of a jet passing overhead and dreams about faraway places.

Smoke starts pouring from a huge parcel perched on the front of his bike and as he opens it to see what's wrong the audience is suddenly carried off into the postman's fantasy land.

Out of the box spills a tropical jungle complete with a volcano from where the smoke had been coming, fantastic animals and a pair of hunters.

Like all fantasies, this one had a twisted logic of its own. Having climbed a mountain to capture a baby dinosaur, the hunters approach in a boat. Then passing a desert island acrobatic dolphins entertain amongst shoals of exotic fish. The postman gets carried away so much he jumps in to chase a mermaid.

The Fisherman, the second item on the bill, was less busy but just as enjoyable.

As a man fished from a riverbank, a forest appeared where people played, walked, pushed prams or rode horses.

Gradually and sadly, the trees began to disappear, to be replaced by buildings.

It may have seemed odd that all the people were puppets. But this was no problem as video monitors showed a close-up view of the action.

The character of the postman was played quite brilliantly by Charlot Lemoine. He also controlled the puppets with that wonderful, intense concentration one sees in children playing with their toy soldiers or dolls.

This was altogether a superb show for the family, only highlighting the absurdity of the festival's ruling that children under six will not be admitted.