The Parachute

Presented as part of Bristol Festival of Puppetry.

A funny and mesmerising story about youth, love and old age.

Armed with Sebastian Castagna’s glorious music and an armful of Theatres white tipped wands, Stephen Mottram creates characters out of nowhere. He plays with our brains, stealthily reeling us into a world of movement, populated by captivating, non-existent actors.

Motion capture was developed by the Swedish psychologist Gunnar Johansson. He attached white markers to 12 key points on an actor wearing a black bodysuit who was filmed against a black background. When played back, he was surprised to find 12+ the viewer could immediately identify not only a person walking, but also their sex and mood, just from the 12 white spots seen moving relative to each other on the screen.

“Mottram takes the craft of puppetry to a sophisticated level that makes you gasp with the cleverness of it.”

In The Parachute, Stephen Mottram uses Johansson’s motion capture in reverse. The white tips of his multiple magic wands reveal ephemeral characters whose lives we end up caring about.

Contains no spoken word.