Skip to content

FringeGuru

Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Edinburgh 2012 arrow Platero Y Yo by Juan Ramon Jimenez
 
Platero Y Yo by Juan Ramon Jimenez
Published on Sunday, 05 August 2012
4

4 stars

Valvona & Crolla (venue website)
Theatre
3, 25 Aug, 5:45pm-7:05pm; 4, 7-11, 14-18, 22-24, 27 Aug, 1:00pm-2:20pm; 21 Aug, 8:30pm-9:50pm
Reviewed by Ellen Macpherson

 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.

Perhaps I should preface this review by warning that Platero Y Yo is a dramatic realisation of long, descriptive and hyperbolic free-verse poetry. As such, it won’t be for everyone. But for me, a hopeless literary nut, this production was an unexpected little slice of magic.

I can safely say that this is the first time I have ever experienced theatre in a deli. While it was definitely a bit odd to be doing my shopping at the same place I was seeing a show, the smells and sounds of Valvona and Crolla were a perfect lead-up to a production that attempted a sensory journey through the cobbled roads of Moguer, Spain.

Platero Y Yo provides a creative theatrical look at a compilation of short stories written by Nobel Prize winner Juan Ramon Jimenez. Translated “Platero and I”, these short stories move through the seasons, describing the experiences of a Spanish poet and his donkey (Platero). The magic of this production really does lie in the beauty and simplicity of the stories themselves; while I can’t read a word of Spanish, the tales translate beautifully into English. The abundance of adjectives at times seemed a little flowery, but the words largely succeeded in transporting my senses to southern Spain.

The production itself rode the line between theatre and spoken word, which is really not a bad thing. One of the reasons why I love living in Scotland is because every Scot I talk to seems to be a captivating storyteller, and Mike Maran is no exception. At times his dialogue seemed stilted, and there were a few too many dramatic pauses for my liking, but I’m going to cautiously put that down to the fact that it was the first show of the Fringe; when he got it right, he was utterly engaging.

Perhaps the most stunning part of this production is its use of props. The handmade puppets and a spinning wooden set show an incredible attention to detail, and the use of puppetry enhanced the whole performance, rather than distracting from the storytelling as I feared might have. Platero, the little puppet donkey, is especially charming, and he’s so expressive that he’s really a second actor. The staging is the highlight of the show – especially when the stories revolve around to the season of spring and the whole set is covered in roses. 

I’m going to be honest. I was expecting this production to be a little stuffy and (ahem) age-specific, but I’m delighted to be proved wrong. Not everyone will love it – if you despise Romantic descriptions of nature, stay away! – but the mastery of its puppetry, the clever use of classical guitar, and the ultimate intimacy of it charmed me. And on a day with typical Scottish weather, it offered a nice sunny Spanish interlude to balance the rain and wind outside.

<< Female Gothic   A One Man Hamlet >>

FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2012 Five Stars

5 stars Comedy
Totally Tom


5 stars Comedy
The Magical Adventures of Pete Heat


5 stars Theatre
Bye Bye World


5 stars Comedy
Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers


5 stars Comedy
Truth


5 stars Theatre
The House of Shadows


5 stars Cabaret
Briefs


5 stars Theatre
Made for Each Other - Free


5 stars Comedy
Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive


5 stars Comedy
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams


5 stars Comedy
Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff


5 stars Comedy
The Blanks' Big Break


5 stars Theatre
A Clockwork Orange


5 stars Comedy
Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble


5 stars Comedy
Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday


5 stars Theatre
1984


5 stars Comedy
Swedenborg, the Devil and Me


5 stars Theatre
The Trench


5 stars Theatre
Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


5 stars Theatre
Joyced!


5 stars Theatre
An Evening With Dementia


5 stars Comedy
Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna


5 stars Theatre
Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke


5 stars Comedy
Chris Ramsey: Feeling Lucky


5 stars Comedy
The Horne Section - Live at the Grand!


5 stars Theatre
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found


5 stars Theatre
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle


5 stars Theatre
Songs of Lear


5 stars Cabaret
Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man


5 stars Comedy
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure


5 stars Comedy
10 Films With My Dad


5 stars Theatre
4.48 Psychosis


5 stars Theatre
As You Like It


5 stars Theatre
Appointment With The Wicker Man


5 stars Comedy
Jessie Cave: Bookworm


5 stars Comedy
Morgan & West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels


5 stars Theatre
Hearts on Fire


5 stars Theatre
Rainbow


5 stars Comedy
Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist


5 stars Comedy
Chris McCausland: Not Blind Enough


5 stars Theatre
Chatroom


5 stars Comedy
Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway


5 stars Theatre
I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You


5 stars Comedy
John Robertson - The Dark Room - Free


5 stars Kids'
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger