The Terrible Infants couldn't be more suited to the crumbling beauty of Wilton’s Music Hall.  In fact Wilton’s isn’t crumbling at all now, but has retained all of it’s historical character after an immaculate restoration.  For the next four weeks, Deptford theatre company, Les Enfants Terrible will be in residence, performing their twisted tales, with haunting set and stunning puppets brought to life through a classy mixture of clowning, direct story-telling and irresistible gypsy music.

Created in 2007 by Oliver Landsley and James Seager the show has travelled all over the world. The stories are both macabre and playful, the brilliant cast of five, wrestling with their own characters demons just as they are compelled to play the roles they have been given.  Told sequentially, the stories are bound together by the longest tale of Tilly and her lies, which winds through the narratives with the dreadful warning, ‘Soon you can’t control the tale, it’s the tale that controls you.’

The morals are often funny and deliciously nasty. Tom has to choose between his Tum, which tells him to eat constantly, and his Mum who tells him to stop. He chooses his Tum, eats his Mum and…I don’t want to give it all away. ‘Thingemyboy’ who was ‘so adept at not being missed… he simply ceased to exist’ was absolutely heart-breaking with a genius reveal from the little hooded puppet cowering in the shadows. Then there’s Wilhomena, the puppet made of bits of fabric who looked so glamorous until she went in a hot wash… ‘Its not easy being a material girl.’

The design, music and words all carry equal weight, which is perhaps what makes it such a rich story-telling experience. Similarly the puppets and the actors are as alive as each other, both able to make you laugh at their tantrums or pull at your heart-strings, like little Finbar who longed to be a fish. The audience were, quite frankly charmed within minutes, the skillfull cast of actor musicians, beating life into every shadowy corner of the Music Hall.


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