The Secret Life of Suitcases (4 stars)

The Secret Life of Suitcases

A charming, ingenious piece of puppet theatre infused with a spirit of adventure

Despite the spirit of adventure running through this charming new show, there’s also a real sense of calm. Performers Ailie Cohen and Rick Conte deliver the tale of conscientious office worker Larry at a confident, unhurried pace that keeps us hooked but allows the story to unfold gently.

Sitting at his desk, our puppet protagonist works hard to keep on top of things. No time to chat to his colleagues or go for lunch, it’s all work, work, work. Until one day, a suitcase is delivered to his office and everything changes.

Cohen also designed the piece, and uses some ingenious scene setting devices. As the suitcase transforms, and carries Larry from park to desert island to outer space, Cohen and Conte use clever costuming and a wonderfully adaptive set to depict his new surroundings.

Finding himself in a space control centre, Larry discovers the real reason the suitcase arrived – courtesy of three fluffy puppets whose purpose in life is to help humans down below who have lost their way.

His constant busyness, it transpires, has been there since childhood, preventing him from taking time to have fun or go on adventures. Both of which the suitcase brings about – sending Larry a clear message about what’s important in life. And if that underlying message goes over the heads of younger audience members, it will hit the grown-ups sitting next to them square in the eye.

Seen at Platform, Glasgow, Sat 15 Mar. Paisley Arts Centre, Fri 21 Mar, then touring.

The Secret Life of Suitcases

Innovative and charming puppetry show from Ailie Cohen, in which hard-working Larry embarks on an amazing adventure, after a strange suitcase appears in his office. Ages 5+.

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