Review: Who Killed Gertrude Crump?
A puppet show told by narrator Agatha Christie, Who Killed Gertrude Crump?, performed by Tara Travis of Monster Theatre, is a fun little mystery with a beautiful cast of puppets. I quite enjoyed it despite a few flaws, and feel that this is a story that can be enjoyed by most audiences, as it features some more mature subjects.
Our story begins as Ms. Christie tells us from beyond the grave that this is the first novel she ever wrote but never published. We are then brought into the puppet-ing world, where all of the characters are about the size of Travis’ forearm and extremely intricate. The set itself is of a mansion with a wide opening in the middle for the puppets. Travis would set up the various scenes with beautiful set pieces or art décor for the wall, creating various recognizable rooms in the mansion that we would return to. Each piece is as detailed as the last, which I appreciated very much. The venue of the Arts court theatre was also the perfect size for these puppets, as we could see their faces and movements well.
Travis as a performer was delightful. She managed a huge cast of characters effectively by making sure that each one was extremely unique. She also managed to make fun of any hiccups that occurred, such as puppets falling over, or the awkwardness of switching puppets in the group scenes. The one issue I had was that sometimes as she’d talk she would look at the audience, alienating me from the puppet. I find that in these shows we need to feel all of the energy coming from the puppet, and making eye contact with the actor takes away from this in my opinion.
Overall, this story was cute and funny, and I enjoyed the experience – a 7 out of 10.
Produced by Monster Theatre
Performed by Tara Travis