Dave Windass returned to his old stomping ground and a show he first saw in its development version to experience an important puppet show for our times.

Shakespeare versus Moliere.
Shakespeare versus Moliere, by Indigo Moon Theatre & Compagnie via Cane. Photo by Jerome Whittingham @photomoments

A former school in an area to the west of the city of Hull once plagued so much by groups of louts that the only solution to the breakdown of its community was to tear down their houses and start again is hardly the obvious place to locate an arts venue, and within it a production, that carries a hard-hitting post-Brexit political message about migration and immigration. Although it is, perhaps, also exactly why right here, right now is most definitely the right place.

Shakespeare versus Moliere
Photo by Jerome Whittingham @photomoments

The Indigo Moon Studio Theatre is a small black box, housed within the rather splendid magpie’s dream Scrapstore Studios. Beyond these walls, out on the surrounding streets, it doesn’t take much to realise that the area is much the same way as it ever was. Attending cultural events isn’t always high on the agenda, for a variety of reasons. But Anna Ingleby is serving up a host of wonderful things within, with Shakespeare versus Molière the latest.

A bilingual puppetry show for an older audience, a collaboration between Indigo Moon and Compagnie Via Cane, two border guards and a host of grotesque puppets inhabit a piece of work that asks what Shakespeare and Molière would have come up with had their writing implements been poised to tell the tale of global migration, social upheaval and love.

My depth and breadth of knowledge of puppetry is scant, but I do know a good story well told when I see one. And this is it. Political, pertinent puppetry. Essential and important, hard-hitting as well as entertaining viewing – wherever you may live. We’re delighted that Shakespeare versus Molière is part of Heads Up Festival.

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