The stuttering child’s voice and five on stage characters dressed like members of a Scout cult group with the number 8 pinned over their hearts may at first disturb the audience. But When You Cry In Space Your Tears Go Everywhere (a mouthful of a title if ever there was one) unfolds as a joyous half hour full of a childish sense of exploration and adventure, of discovery and struggling for dreams.
The play comes alive through an imaginative and innovative use of its props that are mainly paper, cut out and constructed during the play like a child’s card set, each piece, from the rotating story wheel to the space rocket and mountaineer’s gear are beautiful in their simplicity and deftly incorporated. Indeed the high production values of the play overshadow the actors who are mostly the props of the various effects, having little other role to play.
The sense of perseverance and resilience needed in scaling life’s mountains are embodied by the ever-climbing mountaineer in the background who never stops marching towards her destination. Meanwhile the others rocket into space and gasp at wonder at everything they see from there, before the mundane nature of reaching their proverbial stars is revealed in the scientific dissection of moon dust and one of the most finely crafted jokes of the Festival that plays on the monotony of routine present in even the most other-worldly kind of environments.
There’s a whole load of horseshit spouted about discovering the inner child, but for thirty minutes I was struck by how well the Tinned Fingers crew encapsulated that sense of childish wonder and translated that to a broader view of life’s journey. If there was any bad side to the show it was that I now have Kiss – I Was Made For Loving You stuck in my head. Yes, I’d have to agree, this would be the worst song to be singing to oneself at the moment of death. This thought will occupy my nightmares for a good while yet.